Paper presentation

When you write a paper, you have to start by defining its subject. Sometimes, the teacher is the one who determines it, but other times, the student himself has to suggest it.

In this second case, choosing the subject is key, because this can help determine the work’s success or failure.

The subject can’t be excessively broad or too restrictive.

If the subject is broad, it will be too difficult to go in depth, to contribute new things, so it might just end up with the basics, and this won’t make it really interesting. Besides, there will be so much available information that it will be difficult to select some.

If the subject is too restrictive, the student can have serious trouble finding information.

The work’s subject must be somewhere in the middle. The student needs to have enough information and must be able to go in depth and provide interesting input.

You need to be informed about the planned extension of the research.

Avoid being too short or too long (it would mean you’re working too much, which might not be necessary).

It can be convenient to talk to students in higher grades, in order to know what kind of papers the teacher likes best.

If it’s possible, it would be interesting to look at some of the papers from previous years.

The student should start to look for information:

For a school or college paper, it’s usually enough to consult at least 3 to 4 specialized books.

For other longer papers (theses, dissertations, etc.), the list of consulted bibliography must be much longer. You also need to do research online, in newspapers and specialized magazines.

You take all of this material, extract ideas, opinions, theories, etc., and then use them as the base to determine the thesis to be used, and the point of view to be developed.

Then, you outline the work’s structure:


For example: there’s a first introductory part; then, there are three parts where you express your main ideas; these parts are divided in sub-parts where you go deep into specific aspects; finally, there’s a part for conclusions.


Once you’ve determined the structure, the ideas and concepts you’ll deal with in each part, you start redacting the paper, expressing the ideas with your own words, using explanations, hypotheses, examples, etc.

It’s preferable to do the whole work at once even if it’s just a draft. Then, you go over it several times in order to complete it and improve it.

You shouldn’t copy literal parts from the consulted sources, unless they’re in quotes and you mention the author.

Probably, the most important part of the work is in the conclusions.

It’s not about writing a small summary of the paper, but rather about highlighting the main ideas and the arguments supporting them.

They must be thorough ideas, with a certain dose of originality, but with discretion (we can’t present crazy theses).

All papers need to have an index in the second page, because this lets you know the structure of the paper, and it says in what page you can find everything.

The student can include an annex where he goes in depth in some of the aspects that haven’t been included in the main body of the paper, either because of how long they are or because of their level of detail. This information can also be added as footnotes.

Lastly, the student should include a bibliography at the end of the paper, and mention all the consulted sources.

These sources must really have been consulted, because it can’t just be a big list of books that the student obviously didn’t use (the student would then lose credibility in the eyes of the teacher).

This list goes in alphabetical order according to the author’s name.

In a written paper, both the information and the form are important.

You need to work hard in your redaction, the construction of phrases, grammar and style.

You can’t have even a single misspelling.

You also need to keep aesthetics in mind: use bolds, outlines and cursives, margins, periods (don’t write endless paragraphs), presentation, etc.