A New Approach to Paper Writing

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How’s your relationship with essays? Well it’s time to turn a new leaf with paper writing. We all know the difference between forgetting that a paper is due the next day and intentionally starting a paper the night before it’s due. And, let’s be honest, most of the time we practice the latter. But writing a paper doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Whether writing is your strong suit or not, these tips will facilitate the writing process.

Step One: Outline

The key component to writing a well-organized paper is making an outline. The problem is a lot of students find this step takes up too much time. Well look at like this: if you didn’t start your paper the night before, you’d have more time to make an outline, right? The outline should include your thesis with background information, the paragraphs of your body and a nice well-rounded conclusion. The trick is to write the majority of your essay within the outline– that way, you’ll just be rewriting the information in essay form.

Step Two: Write

So, if you applied step one to your paper, step two should be easy. Simply take each section of the outline and rewrite it in essay form. The only difference between the outline and the actual essay is that the essay should be more elaborate. Add more sentences if needed to help explain your ideas and provide examples.

Step Three: Check It

Before you print your paper, read over it. Unless you want to waste ink and paper, make sure your essay is the best first draft it could possibly be. After all, we’d rather hear that our paper was pretty good than plagued with tiny errors. Once you’ve read over your paper and are happy with your effort, print it, outline included.

Step Four: Buddy System

If your professor doesn’t already require you to, meet up with a friend, or maybe not a friend. Meet up with someone in your class and edit each other’s papers. You were both given the assignment, and their perception of the instructions may help you edit your paper later.

Step Five: Seek the Professionals

Most schools have a writing center, an office where tons of graduate students and some professors earn their annual stipend for helping you polish a paper. The graduate students and professors aren’t in their positions because they wished for it, they too wrote papers that they obviously did decently on. So, respect their advice, they know what they’re talking about.

Did You Read the Instructions?

Sometimes rereading the instructions after you’ve written the paper helps refine the work even more. Maybe there were things you left out or things you want to expand on. Or maybe you did the paper wrong altogether, in which instance it’s better that you figure out you did it wrong opposed to turning in a hot mess. 

Positivity Counts

Remember, there’s a difference between cockiness and confidence. That being said, when you’re confident, the people around you will be confident too. If you turn your paper in with a positive mindset, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a positive outcome. 

Sophomore > Journalism > Howard Univesity

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