chapter  6
12 Pages

How to write a scholarly paper

To write a successful seminar paper or scholarly essay in the field of literature, one should observe a few conventions. Most importantly, the paper has to be logically structured and easy for the reader to follow. To make the logic of the paper’s structure immediately obvious for the reader, the first or introductory paragraph should provide a “map” or preview of the structure and content of your paper. One part of the introductory paragraph, the topic statement, informs the reader about the subject matter of the paper. Here it is crucial to choose a practicable and sensible focus for your research project. Effective scholarly papers impress through a clear-cut focus on a particular issue. For example, there is little use in choosing a topic as undifferentiated as “Eugene O’Neill’s Drama The Emperor Jones” for a seminar paper. Taking into consideration the numerous publications on this particular drama, it is essential to concentrate on one particular aspect for analyzing the text, as for example, “C.G. Jung’s Archetypes and Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones.” Of course, you should not select the focus of the paper indiscriminately. On the contrary, ideally the paper should tackle a new as well as central aspect of the text.