Including the various elements in the right order won't necessarily net you a good grade on your paper. And if you just present information that someone else has said, the paper will be mediocre at best. Instead, make a creative statement that's backed up with evidence. A successful paper includes these features: An interesting topic: If you don't care about the topic, you can't expect your readers to. You'll be more motivated to do your research and really think about your topic if you choose something that's relevant to you. A unique thesis statement: This is probably the hardest element to master; you may struggle with moving from what someone else has said to summarizing your own opinion. Thoughtful and organized content: Not only do you need to provide adequate information to make your points, but these ideas need to be organized in a logical manner. The proper format: This includes not only following the instructions your instructor gave you but also making sure the document doesn't include any spelling or grammatical errors.