Need help learning how to write a great college term paper? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re writing an essay for a college class.
Learning how to write a college term paper using the services to write my essay or not is something many college students struggle with– so if you’re one of them, rest assured that you’re not alone!
Tip #1: Figure out exactly what the professor wants. Read the assignment sheet very carefully. If you have any questions, ask your professor for clarification. Visit your professor during office hours, and discuss your paper plan to make sure you understand the directions. At a guess, I’d say that at least 10% of my students over the years were downgraded because they did not follow directions.
Tip #2: Brainstorm a great topic that is appropriate for the assignment. Students often are uncreative when thinking of topics. Stand out from the crowd and write about something unique. You want to write about something that interests you, or else this paper assignment is going to suck. If you’re not sure what to write, visit the professor to get some help with brainstorming.
Tip # 3: Write an outline. Professors always tell you this, and students often don’t listen. We mean it. Good organization is one of the keys to success in a college term paper, and it’s very difficult to be organized without an outline. It doesn’t have to be a very detailed outline, and you can certainly deviate from the outline as you write the paper. Consider showing your outline to the professor before you write the paper.
Tip #4: Make sure you back up claims in the paper with sufficient evidence. A claim is a statement of fact. Evidence is material that lends support to that claim. For example, let’s say you want to claim that hot dogs are linked to childhood leukemia. If you’re going to state this, you need to back up your claim with evidence. Discuss some medical studies and statistics, and include a quote from a credible pediatrician. When using evidence, be sure not to rely too heavily on examples. You can find examples of just about anything, and isolated examples are rarely good evidence. For example, a story about your cousin who has childhood leukemia and ate a lot of hot dogs is not strong evidence to back up your claim. Feel free to use this example, but use it alongside more general evidence, like statistics or medical studies.
Tip #5: Write a cool introduction. A creative introduction is one of those things that separates an A paper from a B paper. Start with an interesting anecdote, a startling statistic, or something that draws the reader into the paper. Use your imagination.
Tip #6: Write a very clear thesis statement, and use the thesis statement to preview what’s in the paper. This is very important. A good thesis statement is like a road map. For example, a good thesis statement might read, “In this paper, I am going to discuss the economic challenges facing three Canadian provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba.” Your paper should then provide information about the economic challenges of these three provinces in the order you listed them in the thesis statement. Make your thesis statement as simple as possible, and don’t deviate from it.
Tip #7: Use good sources. Students sometimes see sources as a hoop to jump through to get a decent grade. But good sources lead to good papers, so take the time to find them. Choose credible sources (i.e. written by people who know what they’re talking about and who don’t have a strong bias). Avoid outdated sources. Use sources rich with facts and ideas that you can use in your paper. Don’t rely too heavily on one source. And never list sources in your bibliography that you didn’t use to write the paper because that’s academic dishonesty that can get you in a heap of trouble. A little tip: if your professor asks for a minimum of six sources, she doesn’t want you to use six. She wants about ten.
Tip #8: Lose the B.S. Professors are smart. We know when a student is adding mumbo jumbo to reach the page limit. Introductions sometimes become storage places for B.S., so keep your introductions short.
Tip #9: Never, ever, ever plagiarize.
Tip #10: Get help if you need it. If you’re just not very good at writing term papers, help is available on your campus. But you need to seek it out. Find out if your school has a study center, a writing center, remedial courses, and other resources for writing help.
Basic Rules to Remember for Last-Minute Editing and Proofreading
It’s impossible to remember every complicated rule of the English language when you are rushing to turn in a paper. Follow these rules to avoid common mistakes in papers.
Theoretically, everybody should begin brainstorming for a paper more than a week before its due date, but everybody falls behind or procrastinates. After consuming unreal amounts of caffeine and cranking out the most painful paper of your life, it is tempting to click the print button and forget about it, but using this simple last-minute checklist will ensure your paper’s clarity and readability – and a passing grade.
Check for Split Infinitives
Incorrect: Remember to never turn in a paper without editing it first.
Correct: Remember never to turn in a paper without editing it first.
Use the Active Voice when Possible
Incorrect: The printer was fixed before I needed to use it.
Correct: Somebody fixed the printer before I needed to use it.
Be Sure Verbs Agree with Their Subjects
Incorrect: The group of 25 students hopes to make an A in English.
Correct: The group of 25 students hopes to make an A in English.
Be Sure Pronouns Agree with Their Subjects
Incorrect: Each student used their background to find a paper topic.
Correct: The students used their background to find a paper topic.
Check for Left Out Words
Reread each sentence carefully for words the mind automatically inserts into the sentence.
Check for Repetition
Restating the same ideas over and over again will drive your professor mad as well as your grade down. Don’t just look for sentences and words that are repetitious but also check for repetition in your argument.
Keep a Consistent Point-of-View
Be sure the paper uses the same point-of-view throughout, usually a third person (they, he) for academic papers, but sometimes first person (I, we) for informal or memoir-style assignments. Very rarely should the second-person point-of-view be used?
Check for Fragments
Check for fragments by reading the paper backward, starting at the last sentence in each paragraph, and reading up to the top (reading each sentence from left to right). Without the preceding sentence to lead into the next, you can often find incomplete sentences.
Don’t Overuse Exclamation Marks
Nothing looks more inexperienced than a sentence that ends in multiple exclamation marks. One is the most that should be used at the end of a sentence, but it should be used extremely sparingly in academic papers.
Correct Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
This will lead to confusion and possibly change your argument altogether. Sometimes they involve an unintentionally funny implication.
Jess ended up down the street chasing the dog wearing only his underwear last night.
Was the dog wearing Jess’ underwear? That is what the sentence implies. The sentence could easily be fixed by reordering the sentence.v
Jess, wearing only his underwear, ended up chasing the dog down the street last night.
Even if a phrase doesn’t sound like an obvious cliché to you, anything that you’ve read multiple times is overused. Find a fresh way to express your ideas.
Ultimately, rereading your paper is the most important thing you can do to proofread. You usually find many simple errors and repetitions that are easy to correct. Keep in mind that it is better to be slightly under the word count than to fulfill the word count of a paper by repeating and overwording your ideas. Simplicity is the key because your professor will have his or her fluff detectors on.