Structuring an Academic Writing

Many people need to write an academic paper or an academic report. Although there are huge numbers of suggestions for academic writing, I want to introduce structures of academic writing in my field (social science, education, and business).  

Introduction / Problem Statement





Department / Institution

Tel:,    E-mail:



(Principal Proposition):

True Statement - Where we are?; Find contradiction:

e.g.) Studies have shown that managers in the multi-national enterprises (MNEs) confront issues of national culture in their daily activities. For instance, policies set by senior managers in one country may in fact represent the cultural assumptions of that country only and, as a result, may differ from the assumptions held by managers who reside in another country and who are expected to carry out the policies. Such differences in national culture may affect the behaviors of the managers and by extension the effectiveness of the policies.


Problem Statement (Interaction Proposition):

Core argument – Challenge to the principal proposition

e.g.) While a range of management behaviors have been studies related to national culture, there have been few if any studies focusing on how human resource development might differ based on national culture. Human resource development has been shown to be a critical factor in determining organizational success.


Need for the Study (Speculative proposition):

Need for the this study …

e.g.) If national culture may affect the way in which managers carry out organizational policies and by extension the effectiveness of those policies, and if no studies have been conducted on how human resource development might differ based on national culture, which is a critical aspect in determining organizational success, then more should be known about how managers in a multinational enterprise differ in their perceptions of human resource development.


Purpose of the study (Explicative statement)

The purpose of this study…

e.g.) The purpose of this study was to determine whether managers in a multinational enterprise differed in their perceptions of selected human resource development practices in their organization. In addition, if such differences were found, the study sought to determine whether managers’ perceptions could be clustered by the countries in which they resided.


Significance of the study


Show the significance of the study

e.g.) Theoretical significance / Practical significance

Research Questions (with conceptual framework):


Specific research questions or conceptual / theoretical framework

Research Method:

Population, steps, Instrument, and strategy


Originality / Value:

Show your originality, value, and beneficiary for readers.




source: Jacobs (2011). Chapter 10. Developing a Research Problem and Purpose Statement. Rocco, T.S., Hatcher, T. Creswell, J.W. (2011). The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing. 


Each sections of proposed structure of introduction/problem statement can be written with a general structure of academic writing.  

General Structure of Academic Writing


·       General Statement

·       Narrow

·       Points

·       Theses: Thesis1, Thesis2, Thesis3.



·       Thesis 1

·       Support 2

·       Example


·       Thesis 2

·       Support 2

·       Example 2


·       Thesis 3

·       Support 3

·       Example 3



·       Restatement of Problem

·       Opinions

·       General conclusion


Dec. 2012

J. Choi

Posted by Jeonghwan Choi

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