10 Rules For Writing A Standard Academic Research Paper

While this is not often stated, the rules for formal writing are quite strict. This is because formal writing is usually used in scientific and academic settings to help the writer convey his or her ideas to a wide audience Formal writing also has many background and assumptions. Unlike the casual conversation with friends or emails to friends, there is a need for formal writing to be literal, well-structured and unambiguous.

  1. Remain on topic. You must ensure that everything in the research paper is clearly related to the main thesis. If you have anything else that you wish to say later you can always write other papers. The reason why your audience is going through your paper is that there is information that they want to get from the main topic. You should not portray items that simply relate to the primary topic.
  2. Importance of transitions. It is important for every sentence that you have written in the document to follow smoothly from the preceding sentence. Each of the paragraphs should also have a smooth transition from the previous paragraph. If you expect your readers to read from beginning to the end, you will need to have a direct development from one path. Transition phrases and words are important for helping the audience to follow without much difficulty as you start exploring the various ideas and thoughts in your document.
  3. Avoid informal languages. When writing formal prose, you must avoid the casual phrases that are used in informal speeches such as “going an extra mile”, “at the end of the day” or ‘‘hard facts”. By avoiding this informal language, you will be able to ensure that the meaning is obvious even to people with English as their second language.
  4. Avoid redundancy Where two words can do, do not use 20 words
  5. Be professionals and diplomatic. Assume that your work will be published.
  6. Minimize the use imperative voice. Using words such as “recall that” or “don’t say” may come out as rude.
  7. Use complete sentences
  8. Put the necessary punctuations between sentences. Divide these using a period, question mark or semicolon.
  9. Have section titles. These should show what the readers will get from that section. This also helps people to scan through the document.
  10. Say what you promise. In the introduction, abstract and conclusion, do not just describe what you are going to say: you should actually ensure that you say it.


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