Since elementary school, we are taught how to head a paper, how to line our words correctly through justification, and how to cite sources. Moving into higher education, these structured requirements become expectations, and when they’re not met, the content of the paper doesn’t always matter. The reader has prejudged the entire submission based on the unprofessional formatting the author used.
It doesn’t mean it’s fair, but it is a way of life in academics. Your paper must be structured to fit either a conventional or a design model, or you’ll lose credit. In classwork, this means lower grades, but in the real world, it can mean a rejection from a publisher instead of an approval.
Everything You Need to Know to Design a Conventional Paper
The standard formatting of a conventional paper is based on an average submission of 8,000 words. If your paper has more or less as its requirement, you can adjust these conventions accordingly, but the elements must be included, and must be in this order:
● A conventional model of a submitted paper consists of 40 paragraphs broken up into sections of eight paragraphs each; amidst these sections, there should be five allocated to the introduction and background information, five for theories that describe the empirical evidence you’ll be sharing, five for reviews of literature that you used and is related to your project, five for methods, making sure these are written with enough detail that your outcome can be replicated by others or clearly delineated for a peer review.
● A large section of your paper, 40% as an average, should be dedicated solely to the results of your experiment. Of a 40 paragraph paper, that breaks down to 15 paragraphs where data and analysis are covered at some length.
● Your conclusion should mirror your introduction but instead of asking questions, those questions should be thoroughly addressed and answered, and an open-ended section for research ideas that came from your work’s results should end your submission.
Remember that it’s always hardest to write an interesting introduction that catches the reader’s attention. Don’t let this get you stuck. If you must, move on to the body and come back to the beginning later.
The Design Model - How to Use it Correctly
With a designed paper, you’re purposely attempting to attract readers to your paper with the idea that once they’re there, they’ll want to read your paper and cite it later in their own work. To accomplish this feat, the paper is designed specifically structured for readership, making the content more attractive. There are three typical formats for the design model:
● The focus-down model, which is the most common format for this type of paper. In the focus-down model, the majority of the paper is spent reviewing specific literature. The introduction is written to catch the attention of the reader but quickly delves into the meat of the paper, which is an analysis of the literature involved. From there, the author continues the literature review with a different take for a short period and moves into a final, succinct conclusion.
● The opening out model, a favorite design for those writing about heavy sciences. In this model, there’s a short, to the point opening to explain the problem, after which the author quickly moves into the meat of the paper. A large portion of the paper is spent on the core information, including literature analysis and discussion. The paper ends with a succinct conclusion, as well.
● The compromise model, as it sounds, is a mix of the two. There is a carefully designed beginning that is intended to catch the attention of the reader. From there, a large distribution of the paper is focused on the core of the work and literature review and discussion. A thorough analysis is contained in the paper, and it ends in a comprehensive conclusion.
Whichever model you choose, the structure is important, but don’t neglect the content. Before submitting your work, have it reviewed for editing and clarity.
Use Impactio to Design Your Paper
Impactio is an all-in-one platform made exclusively for academic scholars. Because of this, we have templates to help you ensure your work is designed correctly. Everything you need to design your academic paper is available with Impactio.