How to Write High-Quality / A-Grade Academic Papers?
In order to write a good academic paper, the most important aspect to master is allocating an adequate amount of time to each required task. It is necessary to start collecting recourses early and find quotes or pertinent data within books or online databases well before the writing process begins. This cannot be emphasized enough; if ample time isn't given for research, writing, and editing, the paper will be rushed and it will result in a sub-par mess of loosely related quotes and choppy paragraphs. There is always the possibility that an essay, once completed, will be short of the professor's required page length or word count, by leaving enough time, a student allows his/herself space to either add relevant content or elaborate on the existing text. A paper finished a day or two in advance is a sign of a well-prepared student.
Another vastly important element, but one that often costs students entire letter grades, is ensuring that there are no misunderstanding or miscommunications about the paper. A paper can be well written and as near perfect as a student can achieve, but if it's in APA format when the professor requires MLA, it can be the difference between passing and failing in some cases. In order to be fully prepared, a student should clear up any uncertainties about the paper with his/her professor; request a rubric if one is not provided, for these can be used to ensure that it is completed properly.
Having the proper recourses for research is paramount to an academic paper's success. Most professors will require both physical and electronic sources, so having access to a library –or electronic databases, such as JSTOR, if allowed- is necessary. Gathering a substantial amount of both is important, as some may not contain enough valid information to warrant use. Additionally, obtaining physical copies of texts must be done as early as possible if the topic is shared amongst a class; the early student gets The Worm.
The ability to properly cite sources is another necessary skill to master for students attempting to write a legitimate academic paper. Whether one's professor requires MLA or APA format, both the in-text citation and bibliography must be accurate. Failure to adequately cite a source used in an academic paper can result in consequences varying from a failing grade to expulsion. Citing sources is easy, but failing to cite can be the last mistake of a young person's school career; plagiarism is not looked lightly upon by the academic community.
While factual information is an invaluable part of a paper's success, simply stating facts and quoting professionals will not achieve a desired grade. A student must make accurate inferences about each point raised by the information he/she decides to mention in his/her paper. The ability to glean logical conclusions from data is a skill that must be practiced, then artfully interwoven between cited texts; it is not enough to state a point a back it up with quotes, a student must explain why the quotes used are supporting his/her case.
Because the vast majority of an academic paper is to be original (non-quoted material), it is important to have a sense of voice, a human presence that readers can follow along with as they progress through the paper. To this end, mastering the art of writing, while not tantamount to the quality of the information, still highly values in the eyes of a professor. Sentence variation and carefully designed transitions are what guide the reader's mind from one idea to the next, emphasizing the most valuable information and keeping the reader from boredom. Again, this is a practiced skill, but one that can be developed easily through regular reading and writing.
While simply writing an academic paper is a basic thing at most levels, creating one that is memorable and will earn a good grade takes time, and allotting the right amount of time to doing so cannot be overstated. Along with proper communication, valid recourses, citation and inferential skills, and a compelling voice, any student can write a quality paper given the right amount of time. Most students have many of the skills required to make great academic paper, and if they allot themselves the time to make use of those skills and improve those that are lacking, any student is capable of writing an A-grade paper.
Students' Writing and Learning Process
There are those that say behaviorism is dead and there are those who believe behaviorism is very much alive. Frankly, I believe behaviorism is alive because we see this every single day in the actions of those around us. If there is a student who has a negative attitude or is acting inappropriately, if that particular student is given a negative response with discipline, such as not being able to go to recess at the same time, chances are he will act better the next time. Likewise, if a student is showing a positive attitude, little rewards like stickers for being attentive the entire week or a pencil for following the rules every day of the week is something small, yet something that can be used for any kind of group, culture, ethnicity, or whatever type of atmosphere.
This can be used to assess any type of workplace or schoolroom. During academic writing, editing, or research process everyone wants to be included and everyone wants positive responses. If we can use this idea in our daily lives in school or work there is no telling what kind of positive outcome we can have from our students or our employees.
A teacher can adapt this form of positive encouragement for high school children or college students as well. If the students do well on a writing task, the teacher can issue a slip of paper for five extra points on a test. This will prove beneficial in the long run because the students will want to act and work for this positive reward, not realizing the five points really will not make a difference in their overall test grades, but wanting the reward so they may be included with the rest of the group. Inclusion is the name of today's teaching game and adapting this to fit the classroom is the way we strive to fulfill this new role.