During your course of study, you’ll be expected to write one or more academic papers where you are responsible for all the stages in the writing process. The point of the paper is to show that you are in a learning process but also to show that you are becoming a skilled academic.
You are expected to work independently in defining the problem and backed by your academic knowledge to argue for its relevance. You will also be expected to supplement your academic knowledge with additional literature and to show that you are able to choose relevant methods in your attempt to answer your problem.
Requirements to your paper
It is important that you know the specific requirements and objectives for the paper you are about to write. In the course description of each course you can read about its objectives, assessment criteria and which academic skills you are expected to acquire from the course in question.
If you are in doubt about the requirements to a paper, you are always welcome to ask your lecturer or supervisor.
Focus on how to apply your knowledge
When writing an academic paper, you are expected to demonstrate your ability to apply knowledge. Your research question must be precise, and you’ll especially be tested on how you reach your conclusion. Major papers especially serve for you to be able to demonstrate your academic and intellectual skills.
Levels of knowledge
American psychologist Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy of learning domains. The levels of the taxonomy move from the known to the unknown and at the same time from the simple to the complex. It illustrates that knowledge should be regarded as existing on various levels and that you need to focus on applying knowledge rather than just having knowledge. The learning outcomes in the course descriptions correspond to levels 3, 4 and 5 in the taxonomy.
(Click on the chart below for larger version).