Writing a Paper from Scratch: 7 Tips to Craft a Masterpiece at the First Attempt


For many students, writing a paper can be something that fills them with dread. Regardless of whether the paper is for a class, a contest or for a scholarship, it can leave a student feeling overwhelmed. Although writing a paper is a fairly large task, there are steps that a student needs to take to help break the project down in order to make it more manageable. If you follow a step-by-step process you will see that this is the best way to create a successful paper from scratch.

  1. Choose a Topic

It may be that you have a topic that’s already been assigned to you or even that you have a choice on the topic. If you have been provided with the topic then you need to consider what type of paper you wish to create. Are you looking to provide a general overview of the topic or are you looking at creating a more precise analysis?

If you haven’t been given a topic, you have a chance to choose a topic that you find interesting and that has some relevance to you. To begin with, outline your purpose – is your paper going to persuade or inform? Once you have decided on what the purpose will be, you need to begin some research on what you find interesting – write down these topics.

Lastly, you will need to weigh up your options. If the aim is to educate, you need to choose a topic that you know well or that you have studied. If your topic’s aim is to persuade, then you need to pick a topic that you feel strongly about. Regardless of the purpose of your paper, you need to make sure that you are interested in the topic you choose.

  1. Ideas

If you want to create a masterpiece, you need to get your thoughts organized. Jot down what’s in your head, and you will soon be able to see connections between your ideas. You can either use an outline or a diagram. This will create the foundations for your paper.

If you plan to create an outline you will need to write your chosen topic at the top of the page. Underneath, list your ideas and leave some space beneath each one. In these spaces, you can add smaller ideas which link back to the main idea. By doing this, you will be able to make links and these links will help you to write an essay which is organized.

If you’d prefer to create a diagram then in the middle of your paper, write down your chosen topic. From the topic, draw approximately five lines and at the end of each line note down your ideas. From each of these ideas, draw more lines which come off of these main ideas and also remember to include any thoughts that you may think of related to these ideas.

  1. Thesis Statement

Once you have a topic and your ideas are organized, you need to come up with a thesis statement. The aim of this is to tell your reader what the purpose of your paper is. Reflect on your outline/diagram and consider what the main ideas are. A thesis has two parts. One part focuses on the chosen topic and the other part focuses on the purpose of the paper.

  1. Body

The body of a paper describes, explain, and argues your topic. The main ideas that you have in your outline/diagram will create the individual sections in the body of your paper. Each paragraph will need to have a similar structure. Start by using one of your ideas as the introductory sentence. The next step is to put your supporting ideas into sentences. It’s worth leaving a few lines between each point so that at a later date, you can add specific examples to support your ideas.

  1. Introduction

The aim of the introduction is to grasp the attention of the reader and highlight the purpose of your paper. To grasp your reader’s attention, use a quote, dialogue, story, simple summary or some shocking information related to your chosen topic. Regardless of what angle you go down, it must connect with your thesis statement which should appear at the end of your introduction.

  1. Conclusion

The purpose of a conclusion is to review up your ideas and bring an ending to your topic. The conclusion also needs to provide a final outlook on your topic. It needs to be approximately 3-5 sentences long. Be sure to sum up the points that you have made and support your thesis.

  1. Finer Points

A conclusion does not mean your paper is complete. You now need to look at the finer details. Look back at the order of the paragraphs. Your first and last paragraphs should contain your strongest points. All other points should be in the middle of the paper. Ensure that the order of your paragraphs makes sense.

If you were given specific instructions for your custom writing paper, you need to review them e.g. the desired format.

You now need to review what has been written. Reread it to make sure that it all makes sense. Ensure that sentences flow well and where necessary add phrases to link ideas and thoughts. Finally, make sure to check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.