On Paper Types and Grades, Again...

You might know your study subjects inside out, but if you do not write your assignment papers in exactly the right format your tutor is looking for you are going to be disappointed in your paper grade. The single most effective way to improve your GPA is to turn in assignments that meet the paper requirements in every single way! This article is going to show you the differences between paper types followed by a template of a sample paper in each category that you can use to complete your own papers on any subject.

The most commonly used research paper type, as you learnt in one of my previous articles, Research Papers: What You Really Should Know about It, is the argumentative or persuasive essay. This type of paper combines researched factual data and the writer's personal opinion. The argumentative essay is usually framed around a thesis statement that reflects the writer's personal opinion, which then persuades the reader to accept his/her reasoning by backing the statement with research facts. The conclusion of a good persuasive essay will show how the points in the body of the paper supports the thesis posited in the opening paragraph of the paper. Let me give you a specific example of what your steps MUST be when writing an argumentative paper on ANY topic.

To show how this type of paper is formed lets take an example of a possible argumentative essay topic. Clare is studying English Literature. During the semester she has read works by Truman Capote among other authors. For the final assessment the tutor wants the students to pick up one facet of their chosen author and defend a thesis statement that challenges the author's intention in their work. For example Clare read Capote's In Cold Blood, which is considered to be one of Capote's greatest works especially when it was apparently based on factual rather than fictional material. Clare has read a number of different criticisms of Capote's book so she decides her thesis statement would be based on whether or not Capote's work could be considered a factual journalistic account of the events portrayed in his book, or if he his reporting was biased because of his personal relationship with one of the men accused of murder.

A possible thesis statement Clare could use might be:

"Truman Capote's factual book In Cold Blood could actually be considered a fictional work because the reporting in the book was biased by Capote's fascination with one of the central characters."

Now although this thesis statement is a little wordy it does meet a thesis requirement because it shows the "what" and the "why" of the research paper. This thesis statement will be included in the first or introductory paragraph of the paper. Other features of the introductory paragraph will be an "eye catching" opening sentence and a reason why the thesis statement is important in relation to the field of literature.

Like many essays an argumentative paper needs to have a strong introduction, a cohesive and logical main body and a tight and succinct conclusion. Other elements that may be required could include an abstract, title page, headers, page numbers and of course a reference section. In the next my article, there is a template/outline of Clare's paper. An example of a title page is provided in the last article of this article series (which implies you are doomed to read on :-)), as the title page of a research paper does not differ regardless of the type of paper written.

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