When you enter a college or university, the last thing you’re thinking about is how to write college papers. You think about all possible opportunities and fun experience your higher education will bring, but not the annoying part of writing a college paper for almost every subject you’re studying.
Experts say that even the brightest, straight-A students don’t know how to write when they enter a higher-education institution. Cambridge educators say that students are often unable to structure the essay correctly because of the damage caused by a schooling based on tests. That is also the reason why so many undergraduates fear college papers and essays.
So what do you do if you are required to write a college paper but you have no experience of doing it?
Take a look at these useful tips to help you write a winning college paper.
Respect the Structure
Any college paper has a strict structure. Sticking to this structure will ensure that you cover all important points in your writing as well as support it with all necessary arguments and scientific data.
Your professors may have different college paper instructions according to the specifics of their subjects. But the usual college paper and essay structure is standard:
- Introduction. The beginning of your college paper, whether it’s an essay or a research paper, says all about your writing style and your ability to put the whole idea you want to present in a short paragraph. This part includes a thesis statement, which is a central point your research will be built on. Note, that any changes to your thesis will affect the whole paper.
- Body. This part may be structured differently according to the requirements listed by your professor and according to your own insights on how you want to build your analysis. This part mainly consists of the development of the argument and logically structuring it. But there’s a tip, which any essay writer will suggest you do: ask yourself some questions after writing each paragraph, mainly:
- Have I provided all the evidence?
- Is my writing convincing?
- Are all the terms in this paragraph clear and appropriate?
- Has this paragraph fulfilled its purpose?
- Conclusion. It’s advisable that you don’t repeat the phrases from introduction and body, but instead try to analyze the results of your research. Did it fulfill its purpose? What have you found out? What’s the value of this research? Be short and concise. Remember that all your thoughts could be coherent.
Impress with Your Research Skills
How you do your research will define the success of your college paper. Research skills are important both for studying and your future career as they will help you know how to address the problem and quickly find the solution to it.
In order to improve your research skills, try to:
- use only credible sources: they provide the best support for your argument. Rely on authoritative resources provided by libraries and universities
- enlarge your research scope: try to stop focusing on one subject only. There’s such thing as an interdisciplinary relationship, which means that the answers to your questions may lie somewhere else beyond the scope of a single scientific subject.
Edit and Proofread
When you’re finished with your college paper, it’s time to edit and proofread it. It’s important not to skip on these points in order to ensure that your paper is of a high quality.
But isn’t editing and proofreading is the same thing?
No, definitely not.
Editing is done right after you’ve written each part of your college paper of when the whole writing is finished. While editing you can delete or add the whole paragraphs, make changes to the order of how the arguments are presented or change the whole flow of your paper.
Proofreading is a final step that you do after you’re finished editing. This step also includes checking your paper for any grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes. It’s highly advisable to check the paper yourself at first, then give it to someone else you trust, and also check it using some proofreading online tools, like:
- Wordrake: this editor can be installed as an extension for your Microsoft Word. By clicking on a ‘rake’ icon you can start the process of editing your paper, which allows you to see all the options, but any changes are still up to you. It’s very convenient because you won’t have to copy the whole text and paste it into an online editor.
- Grammarly: this is one of the most efficient online editors. It checks your paper for the most common mistakes, evaluates the style of your writing and for an additional price it will offer you great improvements to your paper.
- Paper Rater: all your college papers should be plagiarism-free. That’s why you need a tool like a Paper Rater, which will correct all grammatical, spelling and punctuation mistakes, as well as check your work for plagiarism.
Writing skills require practice. Remember that perfection comes with regular exercise and experience. This is exactly why you’re given so many essays to write while at college – to perfect your writing. Don’t let things slide and start practicing right away and you’ll perfect your writing in no time.
Lucy Benton is a writing coach, an editor who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Also Lucy has her own blog Prowritingpartner.com where you can check her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy , you can find her on Twitter.