3.1 Introduction to Writing Academic Papers

Writing is one of those activities most people tend to either love or hate, but no matter how you feel about it, the fact remains that it is the primary mode of communication used in academia, which is why all students must learn to become proficient academic writers, regardless of their discipline of study. In the context of higher education, the purpose of writing essays is to communicate our exploration of an idea, problem, or question purposefully and in depth. We do this by conducting primary research or by closely examining the relevant research other scholars have done, determining what the available evidence suggests when taken together, and then sharing our findings so that others may in turn respond to or expand upon them. Specific methodologies may be used to guide how you conduct, interpret, and present your research, but all academic writing serves the same purpose of sharing knowledge and adding to the scholarly conversation.

This chapter covers some of the key skills needed to write an academic paper, including strategies to narrow down a topic, outline ideas and ensure academic integrity. 

See Appendix A for a sample essay written by an undergraduate student.
Image by ID 3844328 under a Pixabay License.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Navigating an Undergraduate Degree in the Social Sciences Copyright © 2019 by Diane Symbaluk, Robyn Hall, and Geneve Champoux is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.