Congratulations! You have made it into college. Go ahead and celebrate! But now that you are in, the hard part is about to begin. Writing college papers will take up much of your time as a student and can be very frustrating, but if you take to heart the following tips you will put yourself in a position to succeed and you may cut down some of your working time as well..
One of the most important things you can do when you are facing a big paper is to set a schedule right out of the gate. Try using this helpful strategy: however long your paper is supposed to be, add three days to the number of pages. For instance, if you have a 10 page paper due, give yourself 13 days to complete it. In these 13 days you should be devoting at least three hours each day to working on your paper.
Don’t worry about writing anything at all for the first two days. This initial time should be devoted to research and nothing but research. The next 10 days will be the time you use to actually write the paper, and the final day should be allotted purely to editing your work into a final piece.
When you know you have a big paper coming up you should always be mindful of note-taking. Your notes may turn out to be your most valuable source when writing your paper because they will be your firsthand reference to your topic and how to relate your notes to what you write. Take notes religiously during lectures, and organize them as best as you can.
As far as sources go, your course textbook is always a good starting point. Beyond that you can always ask your professor during office hours if he or she could recommend any scholarly writings on the subject of the paper.
Now for the single most important piece of advice for writing any college paper: stick to your thesis. Professors don’t care about big ornate words nearly as much as your coherent argument of your thesis. It can be very easy to lose sight of your thesis and veer off topic. Don’t let that happen to you. Try writing your thesis statement word-for-word on a Post-it and stick it somewhere visible near your work space. Write it anywhere you will see it frequently to remind yourself to stay on point.