How to Write a Great Paper in 5 Steps

by Kelly Vanderlofske

Writing any paper may get a little stressful sometimes, especially when you’re a college student trying to balance so many obligations at once.  Time management seems to be something that many students often struggle with.  Usually students will procrastinate, so when they go to start their paper a few hours before it’s due, the final product doesn’t reflect their true abilities as a writer. Also, it may not come out to be as great as it could’ve been if they started it earlier. Whenever I write a paper now I always follow these steps, so I figured I’d share them in hope that they will help others!

1.      Understand the instructions

When writing any paper, I always make sure that I understand the assignment completely.  If I don’t understand it, I always ask my professor or I will make an appointment at the Writing Center where one of the tutors will always help me!

2.      Give yourself time

The number one thing I do not let myself do when writing a paper is procrastinate.  I give myself at least one week to lay things out and figure out what my main focus is going to be on the paper.  However, I always make sure to not give myself too much time because that may lessen the pressure of writing my paper to a point where my productivity then decreases.

3.      Brainstorm

Once I understand what the assignment entails, I start brainstorming and doing some research on the topic at hand so I can have a good grip on what my paper is going to be about.  Some ways I brainstorm are using online databases, checking out books on the topics, or even reading articles.

4.      Proofread

Once my paper is done, I always read through it because I may find errors I didn’t realize I made while in the process of writing my paper.  This prevents me from getting points taken off for silly errors.

5.      Ask one of your peers to double check it

One more thing I do to ensure my paper is the best it can be is ask one of my peers to double check my work.  Sometimes they can find any errors that I may have missed (even after I’ve proofread), or sometimes they will give me some ideas to improve my work.

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