5 Tips For Writing a College Paper

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Let’s be honest, no one enjoys writing a paper in college.  Whether it’s because this professor didn’t give enough information about what they’re looking for, that professor assigned an incredibly dull topic, you can’t seem to find anything in your research or it’s just more work than you want to do, these are all excuses that come up when putting off a paper.

If you’re an incoming freshmen who has yet to experience writing a college paper yet, just you wait, you’ll become familiar with them very quickly.

In either case, nobody really wants to write them and everyone is looking for ways to make it as easy as possible.  That being said, here are some tips that I’ve found to be helpful when writing my own papers.

  1. Make a timeline.  Whether you have four days, two weeks or a month to write a paper, make a timeline for every step of the way.  Plan how long you plan to brainstorm on what you’ll write about, then how long you’ll research information and how many pages you’ll work on each week, day, hour etc.
  2. Find lots of resources.  Nobody likes doing research.  Since you have to so some research one way or another in order to write your paper, do lots of research all at once.  It’s better to have more information than you have room for in your paper rather than to have to continuously go searching for more information.
  3. Make an outline.  Yes, I know most people hate being told to make an outline but it really is a great way to keep track of everything that you want to cover in your paper and to make it organized.  You can use your own outline format or you can look at my guide if you’re not sure where to start.
  4. Keep track of what you do.  As you work on your paper, find a system to help you see what you’ve already done and what resources you’ve already used.  Not only does it help you keep track of everything, but it also helps to give you a visual of your progress.  I personally like to highlight things as they are completed or used.  That way I can still read them and have a very clear visual of what’s been done.
  5. Don’t procrastinate!

Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? 

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10 thoughts on “5 Tips For Writing a College Paper

  1. dawnb55 says:

    If the topic is boring in it’s original form, I found it to be essential for me to somehow find an angle that I am interested in. The assignment will be so much easier to write as well as beneficial to my learning.

    Also, stay with the thesis, main idea, and keep checking it along the writing process. I write my thesis on a 3×5 card and keep it prominent while doing my assignment. I may find that as I’m writing I can change the thesis to be more accurate. This does go along with your outline idea.

    Periodically I re-read the assignment requirements just to make sure the work I’m doing is within the expectations. It’s awful to come to the end of the assignment and find out that I can’t get credit for all that I’ve done.

    Your post had great ideas that I’m saving for next semester 🙂

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