4 Steps to a Perfect College Paper
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College writing can be challenging, but there is something very special about expressing your thoughts and opinions in a concise and clear way. Going to the library to find necessary books, creating your first draft and finishing your project are all essential college experiences. There are different tricks that can help you utilize your time and energy properly. Here is the system I am most comfortable with.
Make a Schedule
This advice will probably be useless for pathological procrastinators, but for the rest of us, it is necessary to remember that the quality of essays done over a period of time and those finished the night before the submission differs vastly. I like writing with the pace of one page a day; though, this is highly individual. Dedicate some time to researching your material and leave a day or two for editing the final work.
Find Good Sources
Good sources make for a good paper. The first step I usually take is to look up the sources used by the authors of textbooks. Many of my friends prefer to start with a quick Google search, but the articles discovered this way may prove to be either irrelevant or unauthentic. A good idea would be to consult with your professors. It might offend them if you ask for their advice and then don’t use the literature they recommend.
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Write an Essay
Start writing your essay with an outline if you do not want your first draft to become an unwieldy mess. It can assist you in getting your thoughts and ideas in order. You can always take your outline to your professor to get his/her feedback and see whether you have chosen the right direction. You should make sure that you choose the correct style of citation before starting your essay. Consider that even unintentional plagiarism can lead to the expulsion in some educational institutions.
There isn’t much I can tell you about actual writing. Try to keep your language simple, but elegant. People who use unwieldy synonyms they don’t actually understand don’t get good grades. Fully answer the questions you pose in your writing. If you change your ideas too often in your essay, your reader might get lost. And don’t over-use quotes. This shows that you are not sure of your own words. If you do feel like quoting, it is preferable to use primary sources.
Edit the Essay
Congrats on finishing your paper! Now let it be for a while. You need to be objective when editing, and a fresh eye will definitely help. Asking a friend or a tutor for help is also a good idea. Try not to be too hard on yourself if the essay seems to fall short of your expectations. You’re still learning after all.
The most important things I’ve learned during my college studying is to work hard and be ready to ask for help if necessary. There’s only this much you can do alone. Utilize all resources available, including these little tidbits of advice. Good luck!