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Writing Essays and Short Research Papers

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Added on  2023-01-20

About This Document

This booklet provides a condensed guide on writing essays and short research papers. It covers topics such as choosing a topic, brainstorming, outlining, and the content of an essay. The guide also includes information on MLA and APA formatting styles.

Writing Essays and Short Research Papers

   Added on 2023-01-20

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Writing Essays

Short Research Papers

Compiled By:

Jeanette Johnson

Gay Cambly,

Susan Miller

Revised June 2012
Writing Essays and Short Research Papers_1





Choose a Topic 5

Brainstorm 5

Tentative Outline 6

Set Deadlines 6

Research 6

Final Outline 6

Rough Draft 7

Revise and Rewrite 7

Proofread Draft 7

Final Copy 7

Proofread Final Copy 7

CONTENT of Essay 8 11

Sample Outline 8

Introduction 9

Thesis Statement 9

Sample Thesis Statements 9

Body 10

Summary or Conclusion 10 - 11

Transitional Words 11

A Writer’s Checklist 12

MLA Format 13 - 15

Title Page 13

Opening Page 13

Sample Opening Page 14

Sample Works Cited Page 15

APA Format 16 19

Sample First Page 16

General Rules for Reference Page 18

Sample References Page 19

Summary 20
Writing Essays and Short Research Papers_2

This booklet has been developed to assist you

in writing essays and short research papers.

The information presented here is a condensation

of material contained in several resource books

dealing with college study skills.

A complete listing of these books can be found in the References and Works
Cited pages at the end of this booklet.

If you would like more detailed information

on writing essays and research papers,

please contact the Learning Skills Advisor

in the Academic Support Centre at 475-6618.

For additional copies of this handout and detailed handouts on Modern
Language Association (MLA) and American

Psychological Association (APA) formatting styles,

access the Academic Support Centre website at:
Writing Essays and Short Research Papers_3
Verifying Instructions

Once you have been assigned to write an essay paper, be sure that you understand all of the
instructions and know exactly what is expected of you.

Be sure you know such things as:

whether there is an assigned topic or whether you are free to choose one

type of essay required - e.g. descriptive, narrative, persuasive, explanatory

the depth to which the instructor wants you to examine the topic

whether you are required to give your own opinions

length of the essay ( i.e. number of words or number of pages )

format required by the instructor, including ( if applicable)

cover page

table of contents


endnotes or references

works cited

due date

how much the essay counts toward your final grade. (This will give you an indication of
the time and effort required).


The following plan of approach will assist you in completing your assignment. The
steps may be adapted to suit your requirements ( e.g. if the research is not required,
omit step 5 ).

Choose a Topic

If the topic is not assigned, choose a topic.

Something you are interested in or would like to know more about

Topic should be relevant to the course ( e.g. don’t write about “Scuba Diving”
for a psychology course )

Get the teacher’s approval after selecting your topic
Writing Essays and Short Research Papers_4

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