A college paper is a piece of work where you have to prepare a rundown of a specific subject, evaluate the selected topic, and express your thoughts and opinions with supported claims from various reference points. A college paper can be as long as 20 pages or more, hence, its complexity.
According to Genevieve Carlton (Ph. D), a college paper is a standard assignment. But it isn’t just writing; it’s about honing your language and coaxing skills – the most powerful tools at your disposal.
Here are some tips, a list of simple methods that will help conquer your fear of college papers.
- Avoid procrastination: Writing a college paper takes time. So, it is advisable to start writing your college paper at least two or three weeks before the due date. Never put off writing an essay till the last minute, or else, there is a tendency that you would risk making careless mistakes that would mar your work.
Writing a college paper the night before will have you end up with spelling errors and dull arguments. Flawed arguments will result from the lack of time to gather proper evidence and arrange your work. There is no cheat code on writing a perfect paper a day before the deadline, so you need to start on time.
- Read the paper as many times as possible: You must go through your work as many times as possible. In doing this, there is a possibility in which you can find spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors.
- Pick a topic: You may have a topic assigned to you, or you may have the liberty to choose your topic. If you can select a topic, you would need to consider some things. First of all, you will have to find out the purpose of the subject. Would it perform an informational function or persuasive function?
Once you have discovered your topic’s purpose, you will need to research the topics that you find scintillating, making sure they are related to the purpose for which you are writing. It is advisable to choose a topic that interests you or one that you’re passionate about for easy writing.
- Understanding the topic: In a case scenario where you are assigned a topic, and you do not understand it, or it seems vague, do not be afraid to ask the professor to explain further. The clarification would make your whole work easy and less time-consuming.
- Make a draft first: Giving yourself enough time to finish your first draft and returning to it later allows you to see the errors, inconsistencies, and even typos. Coming back to your paper sometime later will help you see opportunities for improvement.
- Create a guideline: A successful paper is supposed to flow from one paragraph to the next in a straight-thinking sequence. An outline will serve as a guide for your writing. Coming back to compare your written draft to your outline can help you see where you need to correct things and get back on track.
- Write your thesis statement: The thesis statement will consist of two parts: the first part defines the topic, and the second part outlines the main points of the paper. A thesis statement usually comes at the end of your introduction. It is to pique the interest of your audience and to encourage them to keep on reading.
- Create an analysis: Analysis has to do with description, explanation, comparison, and contrast. Doing this helps to make your writing clear and easy to comprehend. The analysis mainly consists of the body of the paper. Your paper should be able to back your knowledge and view on a particular subject. It should be a firm overview of an argument based on a fact that has been analyzed, compared, contrasted, and clearly explained.
- Defend your writing: For your argument to have value, you need to support it with reference points from external sources such as Wikipedia, research articles, student articles, and industrial journals. Journals have a lengthy excerpt with original research and a more in-depth discussion of a topic. Then the Internet is a vast source of research materials, and it is easily accessible.
- Write the introduction last: Most of the time, the first paragraph of a college paper is tough to write. You could go ahead to start the essay without an introduction. The introduction could come in last. The introduction should also be capable of capturing the interest of the reader. It should also be in sync with the thesis statement. Also, writing your introduction last after your arguments and facts in the body will make the paper feel more connected.
- Write a conclusion: The conclusion sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of about five or six sentences.
- Finishing touches: Before you consider your paper a finished work, pay attention to even the smallest of details like the sequence of your paragraph, dotting your ‘i’s and crossing your ‘i’s (in a hand-written case scenario). Your strong points should be the first and last paragraph within the body, with the rest falling in-between.
Ensure that you have your paragraphs in the correct order. Assess the instructions for the essay again, if possible. Reread your paper to see if it makes sense and add phrases that will help connect your thoughts, also check for grammar and spelling mistakes. You could also have someone edit your work for you. There is a possibility that they would see errors which you might have skipped or overlooked.
The hardest part of writing a college paper is to start writing. Sometimes all you need to do to get the ideas flowing is to start writing. Successful writings should be able to transfer knowledge, be understandable. Good essays have introductions that attract the reader’s attention and also connect to the paper’s thesis.