Writing papers can be an enjoyable and a way of learning what you are readily researching. It will be very much worth it if you do it well and with emphasis. You not only learn more; you also think more deeply about a topic when you have to put words on paper. Remember that getting great grades depend on great papers that you produce.
I. Collect Your Information
In a college, your opinions are only worthwhile if they are backed up by facts and realistic arguments. You should collect your information and verify other resources of other authors. This will help you better understand your topic at hand. Your professors will always be willing to give suggestions if you ask them.
Check out public and university libraries, government agencies, businesses, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your local area. You would be surprised on what you can come up with. Read and evaluate carefully. Bookmark your favorite Internet sites, Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant sources. Google is full of great information that you need on your topic, so check everywhere you can.
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II. Record Your Information
Don’t just read a book and then write it. You must record your information first and then review it before and during the writing your paper. There are a number of ways that you can do this:
Mark the book with pencils or highlighting pens. Make sure that it’s your own photocopy or copy. You cannot use this method on Library books and it is of limited use as it can be difficult to locate what is really important if you have marked up half a book. It also reduces the resale value of books. Try using a pulse pen to record everything that you write down on your paper.
If you can use 3″x5″ index cards and note down several connected facts on your card. You can then use the cards to organize the information the way you want to use it in the paper. One problem is that you may get bogged down in detail. The other is that it can be difficult to review index cards at examination time. In general, this is the method that is successful for most people. Make sure that you note down on each card the source of your information or you lose track of what each card means.
Finally, try to summarize a chapter on legal or letter paper. You can note down both facts and arguments at length. This system can be a headache if you take lots of notes, but it is essential for effective reviewing before exam time.
III. Think About a Particular Topic
After you have read as much as you need to, don’t just start to write it out. Think about what you have read. Talk about it with friends. You may come up with some new ideas while doing this and it works well. The professor already knows about what you are writing and is looking to see how well you have understood a topic so that you can express it in your own words on paper. It’s no use at all to just present your reading notes stuck between an introduction and a conclusion.
IV. Make a Plan
Sketch ways of presenting your topic and your thoughts on paper. You might think of doing this as a connected argument, or as a series of related headings organized in a way that makes sense of what you read. Another useful tactic is to prove, state and defend your thesis. Always write out your plan. It will help you to be more clear in both tests and papers. This is another effective way of thinking about your topic.
V. Writing and Editing Your Work
Writing a paper and using the best punctuation and words for what you are trying to say is always important to do. Quickly writing a paper is never a good thing to do. If you take your time on it while giving it the necessary thought you need to express what you are trying say, then it will all come out just right. Trust me.
It is a good writing technique to just jot down your thoughts as they come into your head. Don’t stop to edit or correct grammatical or spelling mistakes at first. Writing and editing are two totally different ball games. Even though you may think what you are writing is irrelevant at first, you can always go back and look at what you have written previously. At that stage, you can begin to make it look better. Make sure to correct your spelling and grammar to improve your style of writing. Don’t be discouraged if what you are writing doesn’t seem to be what you are looking for. In the end, it will shape up to the way that you want it too, so don’t worry.
VI. Finishing Up
Before you hand a paper in to your instructor, make sure it looks great. Make sure that you have eliminated spelling and grammatical errors with a spell check if necessary. Make sure all your references are noted correctly. Add a book list if necessary. Type the paper as clean as possible and have someone proof read and review it for you. Remember that the more eyes you have on your paper, the better.