It’s been said that reading sparks the imagination. In a similar way, the imagination sparks writing. One of the cool things about writing is that writers can use their creativity to make stories come to life.

However, it often seems that academic writing stifles a writer’s ability to use his or her imagination. Fortunately, this is not completely true. Although academic writing is more structured than creative writing, it is still possible to use your imagination and be creative.

The best place to use your creativity in an academic paper is in the introduction. This is where you want to grab your readers and make them want to read on. One of the most effective techniques to use in an academic paper is to create a world or scenario that helps readers connect with your topic. For example, one of the best papers I’ve read, which dealt with women’s issues, began by contrasting the lives of a prostitute named Stacy and a college student named Tammy. Both of these characters were made up, but they connected the paper’s more abstract ideas with the real world.

Another way to be creative in an academic paper is to make up examples to support some of your points. For instance, if you are writing about texting and driving, include a description of how it feels to look up from a text and realize you’ve run slightly off the road. This doesn’t have to be something that you actually experienced. Just imagine what it must be like. However, this does not mean that you should create statistics for a research study or scientific paper. Always be sure to base your paper on credible research.

Not all assignments allow for creativity, but if you see a place to use your imagination in an academic paper, go for it. It’ll make the writing process more fun, and readers will enjoy your paper a lot more.