Academic writing is the art of writing students papers from high school, mid-level colleges, universities and postgraduate levels. Academic writing like other forms of writing has its uniqueness; it requires specific formatting structure as well as language structure. The two major structures are essay and report formats. thus, this is what we mainly need to train on and it’s what we will tackle as we learn academic writing in 10 easy steps.

Academic writing papers

Here is a list of several papers that you will likely come across in your career as an academic writer.

  • Term paper – this is an end of semester assignment that can either be in form of an essay or a report
  • Proposal- written to propose an idea for a research  that is to be conducted (thesis); it is written in form of a report
  • Dissertation/ thesis- this is a research report that involves collection of data to prove an idea (a thesis); It’s in form of a report
  • Concept papers- this is like a proposal written to ask for a grant written in form of a report

This is proof enough that with a good grasp of how to write both an essay and a report, one can handle any academic paper. The following 10 easy steps are to guide you so as to have an easy time writing these papers. I wrote the steps after finding it hard to explain to new writers on how easy academic writing really is. With a good understanding of these 10 easy steps, your work will never fail.

The steps in detail

Here we go

  1. Analyze the question and make sure you understand the requirements
  2. Make an outline and distribute the words per section of the essay or report you are writing
  • Introduction: 10%

Background info, subject overview plus thesis statement (e.g. for a 1000 word essay 100 words introduction)

  • Body: 80%
introduction, body conclusion

Each argument in its own paragraph – a paragraph should have an average of 150 words.If the work is a report and not an essay the executive summary must be considered, thus, the discussion part should be 70% and executive summary 10% (e.g. for a 1000 word essay 800 words body; for a report 700 words and 100 words in executive summary).

  • Conclusion: 10%

This is a summary of all the points of argument in the essay with a revisit of the thesis statement. The word “conclusion” must not be used inside the conclusion paragraph(s) section (e.g. for a 1000 word essay 100 words conclusion)

3. Start writing as you research, you can research from websites or any other sources you are confident with; simply, Google research is the best. If you have lecture notes give them first priority.

4. Start citing your work using peer-reviewed journals from this journal link. You can use books occasionally

but refrain from using websites unless they are legitimate (e.g. .gov and .org) or company websites if the order requires you to. Use the inbuilt auto citation app in Microsoft word and not the referencing generators in the web. You can find the tutorial in this link

5. Review your work with Microsoft word spelling and grammar tool. You will be trained on this in the next tutorial

6. Now proofread your work manually as you confirm that each paragraph has at least one citation.

7. Make sure the words are enough and create the reference page automatically from word

8. Upload the work in Turnitin

9. Upload the document in Grammarly and edit inside the website then download the final copy.

10. Once you are done recheck Turnitin percentage if its 8% or below submit the document

Points to note

  • Reports are mainly written in the legal format and must have a table of content and an executive summary or an abstract.
  • Generally, essays contain no charts or tables; in reference to formatting, they are of two types i.e. block essays and subheading essays. With block essays being the most popular they have no subheadings except for the title; the introduction is the first paragraph and the last paragraph is considered the conclusion. The second case, are essays with sub headings these especially are long essays.
  • Reports, on the other hand, require tables, figures and many charts as evidence of the research being conducted.
  • Whereas Executive summary forms part of the word count the abstract does not
  • Abstract and executive summary are different; an abstract is an overview of the whole work while the executive summary is a summary of the work touching on the question the report tackles and the answer generated.
  • To reference and cite always use peer-reviewed journal articles (which are not older than 7 years i.e. 2010-2017) where other sources are required make sure journals make 80% of the references.
  • In case the work has no instructions on number of sources always give one reference per 200 words (e.g. for a 1000 word essay 5 references)
  • Word count in the executive summary, introduction, and conclusion are equal. However sometimes the executive summary may have fewer words especially in regard to a lengthy report


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Now you see how simple it is to kick off an academic writing career. You just need to learn academic writing in 10 easy steps. To start earning as an academic writer join If you are an agent and need writers just join and mingle with writers and tutors. Thank you, feel free to contact me on the below form