Know About an Academic Paper

As we’ve said before, the publish or perish culture in the academic world is real—if you’re thinking about publishing a paper, you need to read this.

It’s possible—and entirely within your grasp—to publish a master’s level academic paper.  There are rules and some tricks of the trade though.

Trick #1? Consider co-publishing with your academic advisor.  Why?  Clout.  If your advisor is respected in the field, and signs his or her name to your work, then you’ll share some credibility.

Trick #2? Do your homework.  It’s not really a trick—it’s something you have to do.  Read academic journals and select a few that fit with your research and writing style.  Then, talk to that advisor about how to prepare your manuscript for submission.

Intrigued?  You should be.  Read on to learn more about how to write that paper—and then get it published.

1. The Abstract

The traditional academic paper has a brief synopsis of the paper, its salient points, and its conclusion.  Take note: this is the hardest part of the paper to write.  Why?  You have to boil down all of your research to about a paragraph.

What goes into the abstract?  A synopsis of the problem you researched and why it’s interesting, how you solved the problem—in brief—the results of your research, and your conclusion.

Our advice?  Write the paper first.  The summarize each section of the paper with one pithy sentence.  Voilá: abstract!

2. The Introduction

The key here is engagement.  You need to hook your readers so that they read all of your brilliant work.  How do you do that?  Start big.  What’s the biggest idea you tackle in your research?  Then narrow down so that eventually you come to your thesis—your primary argument.  Why you did what you did and why it’s important.

Let the introduction read as a roadmap—with an exciting destination for a conclusion.

Stuck?  Write the rest of the paper first, except for the abstract.