Writing a paper is surely hard, but it’s also a matter of technique.
When you have to write a paper try to make upside-down the rules you find on the net or in manuals and ask yourself the following questions:
- Want I’m I willing to demonstrate? (your paper mission)
- Write down a statement: something more than a title something less than an abstract. Exactly like a synopsis which appears on back cover or inside-flap summary of a novel: it’s supposed to be a brief summary of the major points of your subject, like a condensation of a to-be work. In the statement both the topic and the point of the paper should find place.
- How does it look? Then imagine your paper/thesis title is a product to launch: are you able to write down a title and a pay-off in less than 200 characters?
- Now that you have a title and a goals let’s reverse engineer it, work on the index. If you don’t have an index, you do not have a structure: if you do not have a structure we are not talking about a paper but of a word salad. Index is also very important in getting the global picture, have at least an estimate of paper’s size.
- A method: now and at least for some time ahead you are a writer: so behave as one of them and develop your best writing habit. Generally speaking, unless you are writing a novel, the more you write the better it is. 10% is inspiration, 90% is discipline. If you are writing a paper as a group, fine tuning this stuff request even more attention.
- The introduction: please grab immediately reader’s attention. The introduction isn’t there to tell how good you are or how deep is your knowledge on a specific field. It’s there instead to describe” the door” from which you entered into a specific field, zooming progressively towards paper topic. Don’t’ loose the attention of the reader in the really beginning but instead bring him/her with you!!!
- The body: it’s time to split the index into chapters and paragraphs and sharing them with your paper coordinators and reviewers: the sooner and the better. Try to share with them a schedule about the delivery of single parts: if accepted that would help a lot because if you’ll get a much quicker feedback. Better to mess with a chapter or some paragraph than with the all work!!
- The schedule is also important in order to other 2 aspects: a) respecting deadlines b) assessing writing effort. If you are writing you cannot research or read sources. How can you efficiently organize your daily life to reach your final objective?
- The conclusion: conclusion isn’t either a kind of final exhortation or something that sounds like “and they all lived happily ever after (and I’m happy too because I’ve finished) it’s what remains an echo in your reader’s brain; did you get and prove your goal?: answer to the following questions: a) conclusion confirm the initial statement? Briefly Review your main points; b) are they relevant and why I so? c) what’s next? What would you do to move the subject further?
- Do not review your work immediately: if you finished and still have time, take a break. After some days it will be easy to review it objectively and more efficiently.
- Ask then yourself the following question: does it work? Try to make a 10 slides ppt presentation. Can you pitch your paper in five minutes?
- Sources: work well on sources, mentioning all of them in a comprehensive way.