What an Academic Paper needs to be Successful

There are many elements that an academic paper needs to be successful, and this will of course depend on the age and level of student as well as the particular assignment. You will want to be sure that your academic paper contains the following attributes.

Follows directions

It is very important that you follow all directions for the paper. Make sure that you understand exactly what is required. It should be the correct length. Most teachers have a required minimum length, but sometimes there is a maximum length as well. Make sure that you follow any formatting requirements. If you are required to cite sources, then this should be done in the correct way. If it should follow AP style, then make sure that it does. If you do not understand anything, then be sure to ask the teacher so that the paper can fulfill all requirements.

Original work

Unfortunately, a lot of students plagiarize. They may feel like they can get away with it, but there are numerous ways that a teacher can check for this. If you use a source, then make sure you change it significantly so that it is your own work.

Follows the topic well

The academic paper should cover the topic thoroughly. You should not go off on a tangent onto other topics. It should be logical and make sense. In most cases, you should have an opening and concluding paragraph. All of the information included should have a purpose. Some people will start to talk about a personal experience in a paper that is supposed to be completely objective and in the third person. Make sure that you do not inject your own personal opinions unless it is supposed to be there. If you make an argument, then give reasons to support it.


The academic paper should be grammatically correct. As much as possible the sentences should be active and the passive. It should flow well. It is also important that it not have typos or errors in it. Even small errors can make the paper look “sloppy.”

The paper should also look physically nice. Make sure that the paper is clean and not wrinkled. Make sure that you have enough ink so that it is dark. Make sure that you use an appropriate font that is the correct size.

You want to do well on your academic paper. Including the elements listed above will increase your chances of a favorable score.