5 pivotal elements necessary for the success of your academic project

Julian Foster, a postgraduate student, was having a tough time putting together his term paper. His grades haven’t been all that impressive in the last couple of assignments that he worked on. So, this time Julian was cautious. But even then, he couldn’t figure out what makes an academic project stand out.

This seems to be the problem with many students working on a complex academic project. They lack clarity on the necessities of academic papers that contribute to the successful completion of these papers. If you’re riding the same boat, fret no more because we have put together a guide on all the necessary elements and how to present them. Reading these will allow you to gain some perspective.

  1. Present a compelling thesis statement

After you’re done with your research, reflect on your chosen topic. While at it, it’s essential that you decide a single, concrete idea that will be the basis of your topic and something that you can defend throughout the paper. Your thesis statement should make it clear to the readers what they’re about to learn from your assignment.

Consider your thesis statement as the spine of your academic project and the main idea that you’ll go on to defend in the body of the paper that follows. If you present it half-baked, then the remainder of the paper will be flavorless. Prepare a thesis statement that seems interesting to you. That way, backing it up won’t be a tedious process. 

Pro tip: Remember that your research doesn’t stop here. In fact, your thesis statement may change in the course of writing your paper. Hence, there should be room for flexibility.

An example of an excellent thesis statement is mentioned below.

Set in a society where marrying for social status is more common than marrying for love, Pride and Prejudice is more of a social commentary than a romantic story.

  • A clear outline

It’s always good to have a structure chalked out, especially if you’re working on an elaborate academic project. This way, you would know where you’re headed, just like a roadmap helps navigate an unknown location. Remember, the outline is not set in stone and is subject to changes.

However, it does provide you with a sense of structure to fall back on when you lose the sense of direction halfway through working on your papers. It’s a skeleton of your paper, and you need to fill in the relevant details afterward. There are different ways of creating a structure. In fact, you can have your personal, preferred method to create it, too.

Pro tip: While outlining, take note of what points come from where. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in finding a needle in a haystack when you’re chasing a strict deadline.

Check out this example derived from Indiana university’s website. It gives an outline for an academic paper that compares three political theories.

  • Put together a compelling introduction

The introductory section can be a little challenging to deal with, but preparing a flawless introduction isn’t impossible. What makes this section tricky is it’s often likely to be rewritten if you change the direction of your ideas. You need to keep reminding yourself that it’s always revisable. This gives you the freedom to modify it as needed.

The introduction you write must also define any crucial words or phrases in your topic. Some words have many different meanings, and it’s essential to point out which ones you’ll be using as part of your introductory section.

Pro tip: While writing your academic project, you can save the introduction for the last. This will allow you to avoid making any major changes in the introduction later.

Here’s an example of an introduction from Charles Darwin University.

Source: Charles Darwin University
  • Write a compelling body of the academic assignment

One of the major struggles that students face is presenting information in a relevant manner in an academic paper. The good thing is that when you’re writing, you have the flexibility to provide the information and develop the arguments.

One way to stay relevant while writing your academic paper is by checking the thesis statement and topic sentences. Also, make sure not to let the sources determine how you’re going to prepare the paper. Instead, use them as per their relevance to what you are writing.

When writing the main body of your academic paper, you must maintain consistency in how you present each sub-section of this part. You also have to elaborate on how your evidence supports your points. You must add evidence depending on the length of your paper. This means if you’re writing a long paper, you’ll have to include more evidence.

Pro tip: Consider keeping the weaker arguments or ideas on your topic in between the stronger arguments.

  • Writing a befitting conclusion

The closure is extremely important. This is why you must conclude your paper on the right note. While summing up your argument, don’t merely rewrite your introduction using slightly different vocabulary. To ensure that your conclusion is impactful, you need to connect your thesis statement to a broader theme. This will make the conclusion more relatable to your reader.

End your academic paper with a memorable thought, a quotation, or a call to action. Or, if your paper requires it, highlight the consequences of your thesis statement if left unaddressed. You can also talk about the scope of further research on your chosen topic.

Pro tip: Conclude your academic paper in such a way that it lingers in the minds of the readers long after they’re done reading.

Presented below is an example of a conclusion from Charles Darwin University.

Source: Charles Darwin University

Endnote,

Writing academic papers becomes considerably easier when you have clarity about all these crucial elements of an academic project. You just need to follow the right ways to present these elements, and the final product will turn out remarkable.