Make sure you understand what format you are writing in before you begin. You will take a different approach depending on whether you are writing a term paper, a report, a research proposal or a dissertation.
The best papers allow for a logical progression from one section to the next.
Examining past thinking and research (historical context) and then progressing to the future through discussions of relevance and impact, will give your work an intuitive logic and help your reader follow your argument.
When explaining complicated material don’t be afraid to use devices such as analogy and metaphor to get your point across. These figures of speech can create interest as well as greater understanding of complex ideas.
A clear outline help you organize your writing. Outlining allows you to determine the flow and logical progression of your paper. The more detailed the outline, the easier it will be to consolidate your ideas into a polished piece of work. The 'storyboard approach' is an effective way to create an outline.
The thesis statement is the critical part of the paper that explains not only why you are writing this piece but also why the reader should read it. An effective thesis statement is 1) Clear and concise, 2) Takes a stand on a specific point, 3) Is opposable and defensible (an opposable thesis can be argued against and a defensible thesis will rebut this opposition)
The body of the paper represents most of its length. The body presents the arguments laid out in the introduction and gives supporting evidence using a variety of references or results. A stronger body portion uses multiple lines of evidence to support your idea.
The discussion section of the paper synthesizes the arguments presented in the body. It also places those arguments in context, relating them to other ideas and debates, highlighting any new ideas or contributions to knowledge, discussing the implications and applications of your work, or identifying remaining questions.
The connecting points are essential to the continuity of your paper. These areas (illustrated by arrows in the storyboard) link the different sections of your paper together to help create cohesion and also link each section back to your main argument.
The conclusion consolidates the main points made in your paper by expanding on the thesis statement. This is also a place to address the next steps or future projects that can be considered based on the research you have conducted. This is not an area to present new information but rather to reinforce the purpose of your paper.