Here, we'll walk you through the most important aspects of making a paper, from beginning to end so you won't have to whip up a paper in an afternoon, plagiarize, or neglect to do the assignment. This image and list-based, step-by-step tutorial is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. In this tutorial you'll learn: Techniques to clearly understanding assignments and what professors want to see in your writing Techniques for managing your time while you work on a long term research paper or short term writing assignment Approaches to generating solid topic ideas that will make your paper interesting and engaging Tips for crafting a strong thesis statement that can be sustained throughout the whole of a long assignment Tips for crafting transitions between ideas, sentences and paragraphs Techniques for revising and editing your paper before you hand it in So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours?
Get out some paper and a pencil and let's get started! The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. Write to the Rubric The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for.
If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way. Universities mandate that professors given students rubrics or some form of assessment guideline. When you ask, be courteous. This means you can begin with the end in mind, crafting the paper around what you know the prof wants to see. To begin with the end in mind, you need to follow three simple steps: — Look at the Assignment With a Critical Eye Take a few moments to review the assignment and rubric with a pen and highlighter, making notes and underlining key elements the prof wants to see.
Be mindful of the pitfalls and confident about your high points. All this should take you no more than 10 or 15 minutes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but using time to get organized saves you time later, and makes the writing process so much simpler. So, here it is, step-by-step: 3.
Say you have to write a paper for your Linguistics class. Take a look at this assignment from an actual college professor: Yow! Go through and find the concepts the prof wants you to cover in the paper. This prof is doing what profs do: pontificating. They are the prof telling you how to be impressive, clear, or to raise your grade through a demonstration of your wits and knowledge.
This is your prof letting you know that. Second, go micro. Go through and underline actionable items. These are the items that must be included in the paper for you to get a good grade. Usually they are very specific: Clearly, if your paper uses first-person pronouns, it will irk the person giving you the grade—probably best to stay away from that.
Also, you should be using scholarly research, which means no random Googling and picking the first things you ping. Take a look at the first section of the assignment sheet. See where the prof tells you exactly what your paper should be?
This paper better be formatted in a particular way! Also, watch for specific requests about format changes and due dates. Circle them! Why would a prof do this? Well, the answer is simple. Imagine you have 75 papers to grade written by your 75 students.
Imagine just how much variation and diversity would occur between those 75 people and their papers if the prof left it all to chance—all of these students like different fonts, would cite things differently based on their preferences, and would hand in widely varied papers, at least doubling the time it would take to read those papers. Make that prof love you by following these directions.
If you follow the directions, this prof will direct their ire elsewhere. Now that you understand why profs are such format sticklers, take a look at the rubric: The rubric is a list of direct touch points that will be examined by the professor as they grade your work.
In this case, you can see five discrete categories, each with its own stakes, and the number value that corresponds to your performance: The prof will take the rubric and keep it within reach while grading. Along with making notes on your paper, the prof will also check off your performance in each category—summarizing your performance in that category: If you have a hundred-point paper, each one of these categories is worth 20 points.
To get an A on this paper, you have to perform with excellence in 3 categories and above average in at least 2 of the other categories. Now you have a goal. Which three categories are you going to absolutely kill in? At least one of them—formatting—is a gimmie.
Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.
Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined.
The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Revise your outline and draft Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline.
Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar checker such as Edubirdie. Checklist ONE: Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay?
Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed.
Checklist two: Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence?Did I miss anything? Every writer on the planet will tell you that the schedule is the foundation of good writing—the more time you spend in the chair, the better the writing gets. Imagine you have 75 papers to grade written by your 75 students. Your instructor likely gave you instructions on which style to use, and if not you can ask which they prefer.
How do I Organize my Research Paper? Many students skip this step, and then wonder why they receive a low grade on a paper they worked hard on or were excited about. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. What are they known for?
Take a look at this assignment from an actual college professor: Yow! So, here it is, step-by-step: 3. Take a look at these specific ideas that you can use in your research phase:. But, you cannot use that as a final source. For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. If your teacher requires you to turn in a bibliography with your research paper think back to step 1; you ought to already know exactly what the assignment is by now!
Have you avoided filler words and phrases? This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check.
You have done a lot of work already, so trust that and work from memory as you write your research paper. After you have worked to create a specific, arguable, definitive thesis statement, this is another place that it could be helpful to check in with your professor, a writing center tutor, or another trusted educator or mentor. For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. But, what is important to remember, is that this is just a starting point.
In this tutorial you'll learn: Techniques to clearly understanding assignments and what professors want to see in your writing Techniques for managing your time while you work on a long term research paper or short term writing assignment Approaches to generating solid topic ideas that will make your paper interesting and engaging Tips for crafting a strong thesis statement that can be sustained throughout the whole of a long assignment Tips for crafting transitions between ideas, sentences and paragraphs Techniques for revising and editing your paper before you hand it in So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? You know, the one where you throw in every bit of interesting research you uncovered, including the fungal growth in the U-joint of your kitchen sink?
WHO Who is the author of the source? The key thing is to stay on your track and focus on your thesis.
If you have already written a paper, go over this checklist to ensure that it is ready to turn in. You should start reading the last sentence, then check the second to the last one and continue doing it until you get to your first sentence. Is your paper organized in a logical way that is easy to understand? Do your arguments support and prove your thesis? What is your teacher looking for in your essay? You have done a lot of work to get to this point!
Did I avoid using contractions? As well, you can rely on non-technical, non-academic observation to give you better ideas—you can use your experience to shape your subject matter. This can be done by reading a variety of articles, reading a book or article that gives an overview of the topic and incorporates different points of view, or talking to an expert who can explain the topic in depth. You can search for specific help, or browse resources by category. No matter whichever one you choose to use, you must be consistent throughout your essay.
Take what you have learned from a Google search or Wikipedia article and dig deeper. You carefully organized your paper when you created an outline. If you are just making one just for yourself, think about how you would like to organize your research.
You will also need to include more information about the quote on a Works Cited or References page.
Start early We all do it. An analysis? Checklist ONE: Is my thesis statement concise and clear? The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay. Probably number one. There is no point in writing an entire essay about that obvious fact.
They should evaluate your argument, transitions, and the balance and look for any inconsistencies with usage, grammar or mechanics.