Over the course of your college career, you will write many types of paper, whether it’s a research paper, an argumentative essay, a reaction paper, or even a persuasive essay.
One of the most common types of essay is the survey paper, which takes a broad look at a subject in order to establish the lay of the land and develop a foundational understanding of the subject.
In this article, we’ll take a look at survey papers and consider some of the best practices for writing a great survey paper.
What is a survey paper?
When you think about surveys, you’re probably thinking of those conducted by telephone or online surveys that aim to draw conclusions based on respondent opinions.
While those types of surveys are popular and key to informing action in business and government, they differ to survey papers.
Survey papers take a broad scope of a topic or field to examine its limits, consider the subtopics within it, and provide an overview of the scholarly consensus about them.
5 Tips on How to Write a Good Survey Paper
This leads us to the question of how students should approach a survey paper to make it as strong as possible.
1. Ensure you fully understand your topic and the essay question
It might sound obvious, but the place to start with any essay is with the essay question. Be sure that you have read the question carefully and understand what you need to do in order to write the essay and fully address it.
If there are any parts of the question that you don’t understand, you should be sure to discuss the issue with your instructor for clarification. Similarly, before you start writing, you should have a basic understanding of the topic and its broad outlines in order to identify research points.
If you have any doubts, you’ll need to start with a preliminary overview before you proceed with research and the writing process.
2. Make friends with your library
One of the most important steps in writing a survey paper is to research the topic. You need to have a good understanding to discover its limits and determine the major facets and contours of your topic.
The best way to do this is to use your college or university library. Your library will have different types of resources that can help you with your paper. For example, they likely have encyclopedias or introductory texts that will help you to get a feel for the broad outlines of your topic. You can then use the references in those texts to expand your search and broaden your understanding of the topic.
This will likely lead you to specific academic texts that will help you to go beyond the basics and strengthen the findings of your research.
3. Consider using a paper writing service
At this point, you may want someone to help you do your survey essays. Using the services of online experts to help you get the papers you need written quickly will help you to free up your time and give you more of a chance to devote your limited time to studying and your personal life.
A write my essay service like WriteMyPaperHub can help take some of the burden off of writing your paper so you won’t need to work as hard to achieve great grades.
4. Write an outline before you write your paper
Outlining might sometimes seem like a waste of time, but don’t knock it until you try it. Outlining can save you time and make it easier for you to write your survey paper faster. When you outline your paper, you are doing most of the hard work in a low-stakes, low-pressure way.
You can lay out each section and all of the supporting information, enabling you to identify what does and doesn’t work. You also won’t have as many problems making changes to content and order at this stage.
This way, when you develop your paper, you’ll have the whole thing put together ahead of time and can use that to write your essay from beginning to end without having to stop.
5. Revise and edit before you submit
Finally, it’s essential that you revise and edit your paper before you turn it in. Everyone is glad to be done when they finish the first draft of their essay, but no survey paper is complete after just one draft. You need to go through it carefully and look for errors and mistakes and places where you can develop a stronger paper.
The more effort that you put into revision, editing, and proofreading, the stronger your final product will be. Try to budget at least a couple of hours to review and improve your work before it’s time to hand it in. When you see your grade, you’ll be glad you did.