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There Thesis Research Papers

When you go to graduate school or pursue a doctorate degree you need to submit either a thesis, research paper or a dissertation. In this blog post, we will discuss basic differences between thesis, dissertation and research paper.

  • Dissertation: Written for a university degree or diploma.
  • Thesis: A document written by students of higher education to obtain an academic degree or qualification.
  • Research paper: It is the piece of academic writing, generally done as a requirement for a class. In research, you have to do independent research. After the research, you have to write a description of the findings.

One thing common to all these three is their internal structure.  You will find introduction, literature review, research methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion in all of them. Now we will discuss all of these in detail. We will begin with the difference between dissertation and thesis. We have discussed research paper in the end.

8 Major Differences Between Dissertation and Thesis

  1. You need to collect information in order to prepare and complete a thesis. On the other hand, you need to research all by yourself in the case of the dissertation.
  2. A thesis is short and takes less time to complete. On the other hand, a dissertation is long and takes more time to complete.
  3. In the dissertation, you must have a decent knowledge of new discoveries in order to infer your conclusion. But in a thesis, you need to include a hypothesis based on your research work.
  4. In a thesis, you get a scholarship while the case is indifferent in the case of the dissertation.
  5. In case of a thesis, you must focus on the primary argument in order to prove his standpoint. While on the other hand, in dissertation you need to focus on his background work.
  6. In the case of a dissertation, you need to novel findings to existing literature. In contrast to the dissertation, you have to utilize your research work to prove your viewpoint.
  7. A dissertation is more like an academic book, and a thesis is same as an academic research paper.
  8. A dissertation consists of theory and arguments based on original research. On the other hand, data collected in a thesis is based on hypothetical analysis of contents.

Structural Differences between a Thesis and a Dissertation

Now we will understand the structural differences between a dissertation and a thesis. We all know that a thesis is a kind of research paper for graduates.  In a thesis, you have to first research a topic, analyze it and comment on the information gathered. You have to relate to the particular topic you are working on. While writing a thesis, you have to think critically and collect the information in depth. In the thesis, you must choose a subject which is most relevant to your specialty area you wish to pursue professionally. A thesis needs to at least pages in length or bit beyond.

In a thesis, you need to do all your research work by yourself. You will not get any guidance from a faculty member. In comparison to a thesis, in a dissertation, you refer to others’ research as guidance. You need to prove your own unique hypothesis, theory or concept. Comparing a thesis to a dissertation, the latter is longer. A dissertation involves huge research information.

You need to mention each and every detail of your proposal and how you have gathered that information. To be more precise you need to add the sources from where you have taken the information. A dissertation is a complex research work. It’s usually three times the length of a thesis. If you compare a thesis and dissertation then in the latter you will receive guidance from a faculty member. The faculty member will serve as your dissertation adviser. If you are confused or stuck somewhere, the faculty member will guide you in the right direction. He will assist in locating resources and will ensure that your proposal is on the right track.

We have finished discussing the structural differences. Every school or university has their own guidelines for preparing a thesis, dissertation, and research paper. In addition to this, they are particular about what a dissertation and a thesis should consist of. They also lay down the guidelines for the structure.

Dissertation vs thesis is an extended concept. You also need to understand dissertation vs thesis from the technical point of view as well. Now we will discuss the technical differences between a thesis and a dissertation.

Technical Difference Between Dissertation and Thesis

A thesis is a research study in a particular field. After completing a thesis, you receive doctorate or Ph.D. degree. On the other hand, after completing a dissertation, you receive a postgraduate degree or MPhil. A dissertation helps you in enrolling in master’s program. Another major dissertation vs thesis difference is that if you have completed a thesis writing, then you will get a higher degree. A dissertation is a process to obtain a degree.

You must ensure that you are including a hypothesis. The hypothesis should be a part of the research that you are conducting. On the other hand, if you are writing a dissertation then you have to ensure that you possess a good knowledge of the recent discoveries. That means you need to infer new conclusions on what you have read and evaluated.

One major aspect you need to emphasize on is that a thesis writing usually takes place when you reach the last two years of your student life (while doing a Ph.D.). You are not required to write a thesis if you are doing a master’s degree. But if you want to obtain a doctor’s degree, then you must write a dissertation.In a thesis, you have to show original research material that you have collected. While in a dissertation, the findings act as the final and original documents. Although throwing light on both these academic writing, a dissertation is based more on opinion rather than subject research. While a thesis puts research ahead of author opinion.

Apart from discussing all the differences, you must keep in mind that both these papers are extremely important to your academic year. You must invest time and prepare well if you are aspiring to become an expert in his field.

We will discuss the steps in writing a thesis and dissertation. There are majorly 5 steps in thesis writing process. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Steps in thesis writing

Step 1: Pick an area of research that you are excited about

You must choose a recent topic while doing a research study. It should be a topic from his field.

Step 2: Select a project which is unique

You must select a topic in which you have a decent knowledge, and you can put your additional inputs. You must have researched the topic well before implementing your thought process.

Step 3: Ask well-defined open-ended questions for your thesis

You must know how to ask open-ended questions. The biggest mistake you do while writing a thesis is that you ask “High-risk” questions. For example, the most common type of high-risk question is a “Yes/No” question. This means you must ensure that your outcomes from writing are interesting and publishable.

Step 4: Look for projects that are educational and incorporate marketable skills

Choose a thesis which will help you to broaden your marketable skill sets, and helps you in deciding which career path is best suited for you.

Step 5: Visualize your finished publication(s)

If you see your own publications while writing a thesis, then it will motivate you to work. This helps most graduate students. It makes them feel a sense of pride when they hold their very first published paper in their hands

Steps in writing a Dissertation

Step 1: Write an attractive dissertation proposal

You should draft a proposal for the final dissertation project. It should persuade the committee members of the university. It is as important as the final dissertation. You must be careful while drafting this.

If you want to make the proposal convincing, its format has to be clean and easy to follow. Here are the points you should include in the proposal:

1. Title of the dissertation proposal

You must write an attractive title.

2. Objectives

List your objective at the beginning. You should at least mention three objectives.

3. Writings

Whatever areas of study, schools of thought, and other sources of information you are doing, you need to mention it. It should be clear at the research stage only.

4. Research

Here you need to describe the ideas of your research question. You need to outline the area of the research.  You will clearly outline the area of research.

5. Method

You should here explain the methods of collecting data. You have to mention that from where you have taken the data.

6. Possible outcomes

Mention the outcome you expect from the research. If the research has done in a right direction, then you will receive the desired outcomes.

7. Timeframe

It is an important stage. You must create schedule explaining how you are going to manage your timings. You need to explain the timings respectively for each research paper.

8. List of References

You should include the list of references at the end of the dissertation. When you start writing a dissertation, it includes some guidelines. It is mentioned that you have to list the references or not. You should follow the guidelines.

Step 2: Do an effective research

This is an important stage where the overall development of the project is determined. The dissertation needs to methodical and effective.  You should not waste time on reading irrelevant resources. The following stage will help you analyzing and understand it more clearly:

1. Manage timeline

You have to make a time line. As the dissertation will take huge time in the research stage, you need to be careful of the timing.

2. Finding the right sources

You should find useful resources.

 3. Organize

You should organize your resources from the starting. You must ensure that you have a plan or strategy before you start writing a dissertation. For an effective organizing step, you can take notes. This will clear your confusion managing a task. In addition to this, you can use the online tool such as Evernote to write down notes and important points.

Step 3: Write an amazing dissertation

Writing an effective dissertation is the most important stage. The following point will help you in writing an excellent dissertation. Furthermore, keep the flow in mind and write an attractive research paper.

  1. First and foremost step is to create an outline for the dissertation
  2. In the second step, you must introduce the topic. This includes the main title of the dissertation.
  3. Here you must do all the literature review work.
  4. In the fourth step, you must include and write down all the methods you have adopted to write an effective dissertation.
  5. Here you must mention the bibliography.
  6. In the last step, you should conclude the dissertation in your words. You must justify your dissertation writing with the help of the conclusion.

Step 4: Edit and Proofread the Dissertation

After completing the first draft of the paper, you should edit and proofread the dissertation. Mention on the following two factors:

1. Editing

Editing and proofreading have a different meaning. In Editing, you must modify the content. Here you need to correct, shorten, and modify the content if needed.  If you think that you have missed some important part, then you can probably mention that while correcting it. Further, before submitting the dissertation, you must ensure that there is no editing mistake in the document.

2. Proofread

In this stage, you have to proofread the document or the dissertation which you have written. You need to detect grammatical errors, spelling errors, or punctuation mistakes. It also includes checking different layouts, headlines, and paragraphs. You need to read word by word, sentence by sentence, and consult a dictionary or thesaurus if there are any doubts.

Step 5: Feedback

Feedback is an important stage. Here you should get the feedback from the committee members after submitting the final dissertation. Seek help from your friend or colleague who has knowledge in this discipline. After this, discuss the entire dissertation with your mentor. Furthermore, If there is any mistake or there is a scope of improvement, then your mentor will point out. Your mentor will help you in finalizing your dissertation and keep you focused on the right track.

We have discussed all the major differences between dissertation vs thesis. Further, we have also discussed that why a research paper is different from a thesis and dissertation. Gather information from this blog post as much as you can. Further, this blog will not only help you tell the difference between the three but also give a brief idea of the steps in writing these three academic writings.

Now we will discuss that how a research paper is different from a dissertation and thesis.

How a research paper is different from dissertation and thesis?

  • In a research paper, you have to prove the central argument. It should mention and contain all the main points the research paper wants to address.
  • In a research paper, you have to talk about the central thesis statement and should gather evidence or data to prove the same.
  • A research paper is an extension and expansion of the central thesis
  • The thesis is usually a part of the research paper and not vice-versa.
  • The research paper is an original piece of document and plagiarism free.

Reasons for writing the Research Paper

  1. One of the major reasons that you write a research paper is that you get to learn a lot about your chosen subject. The research paper helps you read conventions of scholarly writing. You can even read and learn their style of documentation and the ethics of research.
  2. Another major reason is that you become familiar with the library through the ‘learning by doing’ method. Exploring a research paper helps you to interview many experts about your subject. You can blend your ideas with that of the experts to attain a different point of view.
  3. Last but not the least, writing the research paper is a logical exercise. It helps improves the imagination, thought process, and common sense. As you will start gathering information on your chosen topic, you will learn about the following things.
    • Track information
    • Ways to organize
    • Usage of internet in his research
    • Differentiating between useless and useful options
    • How to summarize
    • Effectively managing time
    • Managing the research project from starting till the end.
    • After discussing the reasons for writing a research paper, we will now discuss the steps of Research writing.

Seven Steps of Research writing

Step 1: Outline your research question

Always define your research question. It should consist of the main topic. His research question should be clear and understandable.

Step 2: Ask for assistance

If required ask for help from your guides or sources.

Step 3: Make a research plan and locate resources

Be ready with your resources. You need to pre plan a research strategy from the beginning. Drafting a strategy will help you in a subsequent process.

Step 4: Use good search techniques

You should always use effective search techniques. You must use useful search techniques. This will help you to make the target audience understand your research paper. Moreover, the target audience will feel that they are refereeing a good source.

Step 5: Revise your own research

You should always recheck whatever content you have written. You should write in the easy language, and it should reflect a meaning.

Step 6: Understand the academic communication procedure and mention sources

You should always follow the scholarly communication. The research paper is an essential part of academic writing. You need to avoid informal communication. Try to mention the resources from where you have taken help.

Step 7: Critically assess sources

While mentioning the sources, you have to be careful about it. It should be a useful one. Now we will discuss the factors you should keep in mind while conducting and investigating a Research paper. The following points will help you in writing Research Paper in a detailed manner. You should keep the following factors in mind before doing research.

At times while doing research, you get worried. You should be clear your research topic. In the early stage you might face some difficulty, but later it will be easier for you. For this, you need a pre-planned research strategy.

You must not do all your work at the last moment. You need to manage your time well before submitting the research paper. This will help you meet the deadline on time. At any moment if you feel that you are confused then you can consult your instructor. The instructor will help you go on the right track.

What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation. This Chapter outlines the logical steps to writing a good research paper. To achieve supreme excellence or perfection in anything you do, you need more than just the knowledge. Like the Olympic athlete aiming for the gold medal, you must have a positive attitude and the belief that you have the ability to achieve it. That is the real start to writing an A+ research paper.

STEP 1. HOW TO START A RESEARCH PAPER? CHOOSE A TOPIC

Choose a topic which interests and challenges you. Your attitude towards the topic may well determine the amount of effort and enthusiasm you put into your research.

Focus on a limited aspect, e.g. narrow it down from “Religion” to “World Religion” to “Buddhism”. Obtain teacher approval for your topic before embarking on a full-scale research. If you are uncertain as to what is expected of you in completing the assignment or project, re-read your assignment sheet carefully or ASK your teacher.

Select a subject you can manage. Avoid subjects that are too technical, learned, or specialized. Avoid topics that have only a very narrow range of source materials.

STEP 2. FIND INFORMATION

Surf the Net.

For general or background information, check out useful URLs, general information online, almanacs or encyclopedias online such as Britannica. Use search engines and other search tools as a starting point.

Pay attention to domain name extensions, e.g., .edu (educational institution), .gov (government), or .org (non-profit organization). These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable, but be watchful of possible political bias in some government sites. Be selective of .com (commercial) sites. Many .com sites are excellent; however, a large number of them contain advertisements for products and nothing else. Network Solutions provides a link where you can find out what some of the other extensions stand for. Be wary of the millions of personal home pages on the Net. The quality of these personal homepages vary greatly. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and waste less of your time.

The recent arrival of a variety of domain name extensions such as .biz (commercial businesses), .pro, .info (info on products / organizations), .name, .ws (WebSite), .cc (Cocos Island) or .sh (St. Helena) or .tv (Tuvalu) may create some confusion as you would not be able to tell whether a .cc or .sh or .tv site is in reality a .com, a .edu, a .gov, a .net, or a .org site. Many of the new extensions have no registration restrictions and are available to anyone who wishes to register a distinct domain name that has not already been taken. For instance, if Books.com is unavailable, you can register as Books.ws or Books.info via a service agent such as Register.com.

To find books in the Library use the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).

Check out other print materials available in the Library:

  • Almanacs, Atlases, AV Catalogs
  • Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
  • Government Publications, Guides, Reports
  • Magazines, Newspapers
  • Vertical Files
  • Yellow Pages, Zip or Postal Code and Telephone Directories

Check out online resources, Web based information services, or special resource materials on CDs:

  • Online reference materials (including databases, e.g. SIRS, ProQuest, eLibrary, etc.)
  • Google Scholar 
  • Wall Street Executive Library
  • Index to Periodicals and Newspapers (e.g. MagPortal.com, OnlineNewspapers.com, etc.)
  • Answers.com – an online dictionary and encyclopedia all-in-one resource that you can install on your computer free of charge and find one-click answers quickly.
  • Encyclopedias (e.g.Britannica, Canadian Encyclopedia, etc.)
  • Magazines and Journals
  • Newspapers
  • International Public Library 
  • Subject Specific software (e.g. discovering authors, exploring Shakespeare, etc.)

Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community.

Read and evaluate. Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information.

As you gather your resources, jot down full bibliographical information (author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access) on your work sheet, printout, or enter the information on your laptop or desktop computer for later retrieval. If printing from the Internet, it is wise to set up the browser to print the URL and date of access for every page. Remember that an article without bibliographical information is useless since you cannot cite its source.

STEP 3. MAKE YOUR THESIS STATEMENT

Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it.

A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper. The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important. Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your research paper thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief.

A thesis statement should be provided early in your paper – in the introduction part, or in the second paragraph, if your paper is longer.

It is impossible to create a thesis statement immediately when you have just started fulfilling your assignment. Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper. It will naturally change while you develop your ideas.

Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments. Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read.

Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers.

A thesis statement should do the following:

  • Explain the readers how you interpret the subject of the research
  • Tell the readers what to expect from your paper
  • Answer the question you were asked
  • Present your claim which other people may want to dispute

Make sure your thesis is strong.

If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise. Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself.

You must check:

  • Does my statement answer the question of my assignment?
  • Can my position be disputed or opposed? If not, maybe you have just provided a summary instead of creating an argument.
  • Is my statement precise enough? It should not be too general and vague.
  • Does it pass a so-called “so what” test? Does it provide new/interesting information to your audience or does it simply state a generic fact?
  • Does the body of my manuscript support my thesis, or are they different things? Compare them and change if necessary. Remember that changing elements of your work in the process of writing and reviewing is normal.

A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author.

More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper.

STEP 4. MAKE A RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE

A research paper basically has the following structure:

  1. Title Page (including the title, the author’s name, the name of a University or colledge, and the publication date)
  2. Abstract (brief summary of the paper – 250 words or less)
  3. Introduction (background information on the topic or a brief comment leading into the subject matter – up to 2 pages)
  4. Manuscript Body, which can be broken down in further sections, depending on the nature of research:
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results (what are the results obtained)
  • Discussion and Conclusion etc.
  1. Reference
  2. Tables, figures, and appendix (optional)

An outline might be formal or informal.

An informal outline (working outline) is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas. It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. It helps an author to make their key points clear for him/her and arrange them.

Sometimes the students are asked to submit formal outlines with their research papers.

In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics. The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order.

All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral.

Example of an outline:

I. INTRODUCTION - (Brief comment leading into subject matter - Thesis statement on Shakespeare) II. BODY - Shakespeare's Early Life, Marriage, Works, Later Years A. Early life in Stratford 1. Shakespeare's family a. Shakespeare's father b. Shakespeare's mother 2. Shakespeare's marriage a. Life of Anne Hathaway b. Reference in Shakespeare's Poems B. Shakespeare's works 1. Plays a. Tragedies i. Hamlet ii. Romeo and Juliet b. Comedies i. The Tempest ii. Much Ado About Nothing c. Histories i. King John ii. Richard III iii. Henry VIII 2. Sonnets 3. Other poems C. Shakespeare's Later Years 1. Last two plays 2. Retired to Stratford a. Death b. Burial i. Epitaph on his tombstone III. CONCLUSION A. Analytical summary 1. Shakespeare's early life 2. Shakespeare's works 3. Shakespeare's later years B. Thesis reworded C. Concluding statement

The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Include in your outline an INTRODUCTION, a BODY, and a CONCLUSION. Make the first outline tentative.

INTRODUCTION – State your thesis and the purpose of your research paper clearly. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic.

BODY – This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i.e. find 3 supporting arguments for each position you take. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.

CONCLUSION – Restate or reword your thesis. Summarize your arguments. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.

STEP 5. ORGANIZE YOUR NOTES

Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids.

Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page.

Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e.g., IA3b – meaning that the item “Accessing WWW” belongs in the following location of your outline:

I. Understanding the Internet A. What is the Internet 3. How to "Surf the Net" b. Accessing WWW

Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e.g., IA2, IA3, IA4, etc. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline.

STEP 6. WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT

Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e.g. with the capital Roman numeral I.

Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e.g. write summaries, paraphrases or quotations on note cards, or separate sheets of lined paper. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.g., IB2a or IIC, etc.

Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e.g. IA, IB, IC. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.g. cut first Introduction paragraph and paste it to IA. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined.

If it is helpful to you, use a symbol such as “#” to mark the spot where you would like to check back later to edit a paragraph. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed.

STEP 7. REVISE YOUR OUTLINE AND DRAFT

Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly.

CHECKLIST ONE:

1. Is my thesis statement concise and clear?
2. Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything?
3. Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?
4. Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing?
5. Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments?
6. Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay?

Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed.

CHECKLIST TWO:

1. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence?
2. Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples?
3. Any run-on or unfinished sentences?
4. Any unnecessary or repetitious words?
5. Varying lengths of sentences?
6. Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next?
7. Any spelling or grammatical errors?
8. Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation?
9. Are all my citations accurate and in correct format?
10. Did I avoid using contractions? Use “cannot” instead of “can’t”, “do not” instead of “don’t”?
11. Did I use third person as much as possible? Avoid using phrases such as “I think”, “I guess”, “I suppose”
12. Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective?
13. Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader(s) at the end of the paper?


The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, by William Strunk, Jr.

For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. on the Elements of Style. Contents include: Elementary Rules of Usage, Elementary Principles of Composition, Words & Expressions Commonly Misused, An Approach to Style with a List of Reminders: Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. Details of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. partially available online at Bartleby.com. Note: William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946). The Elements of Style was first published in 1918.

There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. It depends on the field of your studies or the requirements of your University/supervisor.

There are several formatting styles typically used. The most commonly used are the APA style and the MLA style. However, there are such style guides as the Chicago Manual of Style, American Medical Association (AMA) Style, and more.

APA (American Psychological Association) style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. The detailed information can be found in Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used for the liberal arts and humanities. The most recent printed guide on it is the  MLA Handbook (8th ed.). Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format (printed, online, e-books etc.), this edition recommends a single universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any kind of source.

You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting.

STEP 8. TYPE FINAL PAPER

All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer.

Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher. Know how your essay will be evaluated.

Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive.

Aim to have your final paper ready a day or two before the deadline. This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check. Before handing in your assignment for marking, ask yourself: “Is this the VERY BEST that I can do?”

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