Academic writing is a rather important and useful skill. You’re most likely to employ it throughout high-school and college but make no mistake – one of these days the need to write some sort of academic paper will sneak up on you and you better be ready.
There are a couple of helpful tips and tools that will get you up in shape for your next essay.
And since the academic year is well underway let’s take a look at some of those crutches you can safely lean on to deliver effective results while preserving your time and effort.
The first and foremost thing to pay attention to is, of course, grammatical correctness. There are loads and loads of options, including the ones built into your office software of choice but Grammarly would be one of the safest bets out there.
Free and easy to use, it will allow you to get rid of any text’s imperfections quickly.
It is also able to weed out any weirdly worded, over-complicated sentences and questionable phrases that render your text hard to read. An extremely handy additional functionality will serve you well whenever you need to work on any assignment. And when it comes to creative writing, it’s simply invaluable.
Stealing is a social taboo, and borrowing ideas in writing is not an exception. Being caught with plagiarism can get you in some very deep waters very quickly. So it never hurts to be extra sure that your writing isn’t suspiciously similar to that other piece someone has already published. Yes, even if you are absolutely positive you’ve come up with your paper all on your own.
A rather common choice would be Copyscape. A quick scan will tell you whether the material is original. It may seem like a waste of time, especially after you’ve spent like a week tediously coming up with ideas and putting your own heart and soul into your paper.
But it never hurts to be sure. You can’t really argue plagiarism once a program deemed your text unworthy.
Make no mistake, however harshly you are downgraded for grammar, the most valuable thing in your paper is its substance. It can be tough to pick a topic or even research it properly once you’re set.
This problem doesn’t really have a single correct solution. Everything will work in this case.
EBSCO usually appears at the top in the list of credible databases, and you can start with this one.
For more specific topics, you may have to wander off. When you do just make sure the information you are using has some sort of basis to it. Trace the source of your materials, make sure they are reliable. There’s nothing more embarrassing than realizing your entire paper hinges on some weak assumption.
When you’ve perfected all the other aspects of your writing, take your time, and add some flair for the reader. Even the required dry and official academic language has some leeway. Play around with the words, make the material pleasant and easy to read. Avoid too long and complicated sentences, tautology, and anything that makes you trip over while you read the text.
One of the handiest ways to work on your vocabulary on the go would be Magoosh vocabulary app. Otherwise, just hand your paper to one of the friends and ask them to see if something is bothering.
Well, that’s not exactly a device, but it deserves to be thrown in there with the others. Without constant practice, no fancy app will help you. If you want to breeze through assignments, you have to write, then write again and later write some more. Use the apps like Hemingway Editor to grade yourself and then write again.
Here is the summary of essential points you should address when working on an academic paper:
- do your research;
- check your grammar;
- do not borrow ideas;
- when all else fails – outsource.
Following these simple rules will get you through pretty much anything. However hard and pointless the work you’re doing may seem, it will all bring great results in the end. Just keep your head down, soldier on, and enjoy the little things in the process.
Hopefully, our list will turn out to be handy!