The Gold Scales Site Portal

Writing Papers, Essays or Articles



Writing Papers, Essays, or Articles

LoKeep to accurate, explanatory and instructive writing with main examples to serve you

Clear and expository writing is sound. An academic work is supposed to follow some guidelines of "cookbooks", and some of the guidelines deal with how to build up texts. Study a good text to see how it is formed.

The whole work

The "rules of the game" differ among disciplines. Allow for that. However, expect a structure throughout. That is, know how scholarly works are organised from start to end, so that you can benefit more.

An introduction is followed by digging in through a series of chapters, with an end chapter to sum up main findings and point ahead, possibly.

The authors seek to align their work to high-standing reference literature, som they may refer thoroughly to cover their subject. Expect that.

If the work you take a look at, contains original research, study the conclusions first, or the abstract, if there is any.

In such ways you may quckly get an over-all grasp of the main content.


Chapters are supposed to cover various sides to the main topic of the work, and may be constructed in about the same general way as shown above: First may be briefings that tell in short what the chapter is about, then there are many renderings and perhaps quotations from other, significant works in the field, some original thought (let us hope), and chapter summaries in many cases. Many authors seem to prefer to conclude litte, though.

Sections and sub-sections

Chapters may be divided into sections and sub-sections. Ideally, it helps us to follow the writer's line of thought, development of his or her coverage.

Paragraph level

For example, each paragraph is supposed to state in short the content of the paragraph, and the last line of the paragraph sums it up somehow. There are many exceptions and variations to this, though. Between the start and end of a paragraph there are elaborations and examples. That is how it is supposed to be.

Thus, when you read textbooks, pay heed to the cues you get - by how paragraphs are structured. Central meanings should be expected to be found in certain places, due to the whole arrangement of the scholarly work. [Wts 2-4].

Sentence level

It is an ideal to state one's basic ideas clearly and without ambiguity, avoiding grandiloquence and circumscription. The soft guidelines of plain English are generally fit for this work.


When you know these matters, study some examples by looking up in textbooks, and you are ready to take in how to do it - profit from some sound and expository ways of writing yourself. Such a form of writing is perhaps time-consuming, like knitting, but here you have been furnished with the ideal, at any rate.


Think and analyse so as to make explanations of phenomena possible:

  1. Learn the major words of your "trade" and profession and use them well: Maybe the words you need are among these: Descriptive, experimental, survey research, applied and basic research; operant research, nonstatistical research. Each method has its strategic limitations and many of them can be combined.
  2. Let a major research problem be presented first, before its basis or rationale, for that helps readers to comprehend it more easily [cf. Wts 4, 6]. And maybe the "stricture of the structure" helps against being carried away.

When you decide to show or publish something, tackle the matters of presentation well, not forgetting that your discoveries count - as sound research may lead to many discoveries. Try to make full use of what you discover: There are more ways than exposing it; handy, practical applications may be worth striving for. But expositions normally come first. The type of exposition that is generally favoured is "complete and accurate information with the least expense" [Wts 5].

If you get rigorous in observing and finding out of things, you can present your findings with assertiveness. There are instructive manuals for doing these feats, and if you form the necessary habits, you may get your presentations published in well-renowned publications. That could be worth striving for [Wts 4].

LoRobert Barrass is a fine guide to scientific writing

SOUND, EXPOSITORY writing is clear and crisp, assersts Robert Barrass. It may not be delicate, but it should be clear [Scw].

You wish to investigate a problem. Concentrate primarily on clarifying your thoughts about the purpose, and limit the coverage. For many students this takes an awful lot of time. Learn to do what you need to in order to be able to produce your discourse (text) in a scientific way. For many students this takes much time too. Next clarify what conclusions that you can justifiably draw on top of what you have done, and delve into what your foremost conclusions signify.

There are some values that explicitly help in this ongoing process. Findings are usually judged according to how valid, reliable, and substantial they seem. Your thought had better appear relevant, interesting and fruitful too. Adhere to the basic principles in your field of study and/or investigation, and most things could go your way. Get into the principal or established components of methods, and do not ignore the principles or reasons that something is based on or rooted in. Those principles may be called controlling principles, and they may be of practice, of opinion and much else. The rationale or "depth philosophy" of a study or investigation is something that cognition and methods are established on, Thomas Kuhn and others demonstrate [Lunt; Wts 3, 4]. ◊

LoThe structured ways of doing things are half the craft, it seems

IT MAY serve you to to keep the problem a little secret while you toy with it and work with it preliminarily, as you grope and hopefully find out what is neat or to be understood. Bear in mind that the purpose of a report paper is higher than just conforming to standard ways of doing things. That is, it is better than just offering structure. Within the structure there is to be some content, hopefully not too alarming, and it should be easy to get to it for a reader. In the light of this, remember to adjust your better examples to what may be applicable or attainable further too [Wts 2, 4, 6].

Heuristic has come to refers to all the elements of strategy and logic that investigators use to make scientific discoveries and make clear to others that they have discovered something. You should get a guide before doing your research. Identify the problem or topic to investigate or expose. Show what makes it problematic or interesting. To identify and explain the research problems or the central topic of a discourse is a rather difficult task in the craft of writing a clear presentation, be it a research paper or a maturing thesis [cf. Wts 3-5]. ◊

What is believed about many phenomena in advance of a study may or may not be correct, or perhaps only somewhat correct. A fit rationale helps you to cope with beliefs and strong emotions they may trigger off: Study evidence, for example. Do not confuse arrogance with knowledge and skill. If assertions are not backed up by evidence, they are at best only plausible, and may be treated as speculation too. Just be careful, weigh and consider as part of the training [Wts 3, 5].



  1. Keep to accurate, explanatory and instructive writing with main examples that serve you.
  2. Robert Barrass is a fine guide to specifics of scientific writing.
  3. Know the drill: The structured ways of doing things may be half the craft, half the job.

IN NUCE To explain acceptably, you need to conform to what guide books (and supervisors) show you, first and foremost. That is a large part of the craft of scientific presentation.

However, there is more to life, education, culture than these things. Live well and have fun, too.


Further Counsel


  • How far your exam paper fulfils and relates directly the topic question given.
  • How far the paper demonstrates a broad and detailed grasp of the subject matter.
  • Accuracy of facts you present in your paper.
  • How coherent and well-organised your argument or discussion or exposition is.
  • How relevant your material is to the topic question.
  • The quality of the written English.
  • How well you apply the stardards of the genre in current use.

Increase the strategic know-how

Fairly often it can work well to take the time to structure your main ideas before you start writing them, for one may get tired after four hours of using the brain without giving it much rest. Then, on other occasions the counsel given is: "Just write the ideas that come to mind. You can redact later." These are two main approaches to academic writing. But at exams the former way is most likely best.


Learn and learn to use the meaningful core vocabulary of your field. Also consider how fit the vocabulary is. Shun the sophisticated whim as far as possible. The overstretching and bombastic whims should also be shunned.

Learning often means getting to keywords, key terms and key phrases, and knitting them well. Key terms are useful, and plain English is a boon to others - but conforming to the genre is vital to most. Do not get ridiculous by it, however.

If you cannot - in the long run - tell everyone what you have been doing, your doing has been worthless. - Erwin Schroedinger. [Thd 27]

Even for the physicist the description on plain language will be a criterion of th degree of understanding that has been reached. - Werner Heisenberg. [Thd 27]

Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in language comprehensible to everyone. - Albert Einstein. [Ibid.]

Don't say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few. - Pythagorean

Adhere to relevance

Accept that what is considered relevant in a field, is based on rather common agreements. Something considered relevant is generally:-

  • Constructed so that some traceable, significant, logical connection may be understood.
  • Affording evidence which tends to prove or disprove something under discussion etc.
  • Bringing a general rule or principle to bear upon a particular case - then the relevance is applicability.

There are still more sides to it.

Avoid mistakes; they can become costy

Find out in advance just what sort of product (production) is expected from you. Put your best foot forward and master the genre, whether term papers or articles in journals or papers. Gain sound mastery over the process of learning and how to write in its various aspects. One usually gains from having learnt and being well trained in standards to master.

Exploratory work is not all there is to it: To be on the safe side in some settings, learn to bulwark well, for you do not have to be scapegoated with unwelcome snowballs rolling.

Try to write to convey information or explain things. Yet, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." There are many different style guides (norm sets) to adhere to. That is not bad either.

Keep to the basics and bear in mind that writing a paper is halfway a craft production - one is not out to flaunt or dupe by phrases or ways of wording, but to show solid knowledge in sober, good language, and not through unnatural, "sophisticated" acts.

Insecure fellows may drive a hard bargain to get themselves confirmed by sleek conformism. Bad censors could be from among their ranks, marked by stupid arrogance - the other side to servility.

You have to trust yourself a lot. Being formal is not all there is to life.

Writing Papers, Essays, Articles, END MATTER

Writing Papers, Essays, Articles, LITERATURE  

Lunt: Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd enlarged ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1970.

Scw: Barrass, Robert. Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2002.

Siah: Latour, Bruno. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1987.

Thd: Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. London: Rider, 1979.

Wts: Van Wagenen, R. Keith. Writing a Thesis: Substance and Style. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Writing Papers, Essays, Articles, TO TOP SET ARCHIVE SECTION NEXT

Writing Papers, Essays, Articles USER'S GUIDE to abbreviations, the site's bibliography, letter codes, dictionaries, site design and navigation, tips for searching the site and page referrals. [LINK]
© 2000–2011, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [E-MAIL]  —  Disclaimer: LINK]