Academic work accompanies students throughout their professional lives. The first academic work that crosses your path is typically a writing assignment and rest assured, it will not be the only one! After all, term papers are examinations that conclude seminars and modules at the end of a semester. However, a term paper is not only an examination, but is also comprised of exercises designed to prepare students for the larger and more complex academic work. These are assignments waiting at the end of their undergraduate or graduate studies, proving to be considerably more extensive than typical assignments. These are, of course, theses, such as bachelor’s and master’s theses whose academic level is much higher. But despite these differences, different types of academic work have much in common. Their similarities include, among other things, the structure, and this is exactly what we want to devote more attention to in the following.
The beginning of an academic work
If you start a academic work, the first thing any read will see is the cover page, which contains, among other things, the title of the work and the name of the author. In addition, the name of the seminar, the student’s semester and the teacher from whom the academic paper was produced are noted on the cover page. On the following page you then see the table of contents. This should be designed to give readers a rough first impression of the work at hand. If you use abbreviations throughout the paper, these are then listed on the next page, followed by the lists of figures and tables, which are only provided if illustrations and tables have been used in the paper.
At this point the reader encounters the introduction, where the topic is presented and its relevance justified. For this purpose, students integrate the current state of research into their presentation. In addition, in the introduction, students introduce a research question related to the main topic.
The core of an academic work
The body comprises the core of every academic work. Its structure, of course, depends on the topic of the academic assignment and cannot be generalised. As wide-ranging as the topics of academic papers may be, students must always make sure that they are comprehensible and understandable to others. This requires the central theme and a stringent argumentation structure.
However, the main part is not a large contiguous section, as this would be far too confusing. Therefore, the main part is divided by meaningful and logical headings and subheadings.
The end of an academic work
The findings established in the main part are summarised in the conclusion. Afterwards, the research question associated with the topic will be answered. Even though students have decided on a topic for a reason, most of the time, the answer to it usually develops during the course of the work and writing process. Once the conclusion is drawn and presented, the reader can expect the bibliography on the following page. In this section, all sources are listed alphabetically and uniformly. On the last page of every academic paper is the signed declaration that this is an independent, original work. Submitting this statement is a requirement of all students. In providing it, they assure that they have done the work on their own.