Writing a college-level paper isn't quite the same as writing an essay in high school. First of all, college assignments are significantly longer. Second, they are supposed to be a result of extensive reading. Therefore, if you are hoping to learn how to write a college paper in one night without making any preparations, the answer is: it's impossible. Unless you are blessed with a unique gift, that is. Writing as such is not the longest stage of creating a good college paper. Pre-writing is, and it takes days. Don't expect magic.
If you insist on wonders, however, we have one last option. You can ask paper pixies for writing help using magic words "Order now." This will shift all your troubles on their shoulders. All we ask is that spend the time you have thus salvaged wisely. For example, go and read those course readings at last.
That said, we have put this guide together to make the writing process as fast and easy as possible. When we say "fast," we mean without stalling, procrastination, and amendments because of sloppy mistakes.
How to Write a College Paper for Dummies
Okay, let's suppose you have enough time to write a paper yourself. Here are the steps you should take.
1. Read that assignment sheet carefully
If you want to write a paper fast, you must first understand what your instructor expects you to write. There are two main types of college papers: topic papers and research papers.
As the name suggests, topic papers have a specific topic (or several to choose from). They are relatively short and based on the course materials, class discussions, and other resources that you should have learned and processed by now. If that's the case, you are in luck, and the pre-writing stage shouldn't take long. Whip out your class notes and start brainstorming. However, if you are expected to choose a topic and conduct independent research, this will take a while.
The second thing in your assignment sheet you should note is the format requirements rubric. This is important because every instructor may have their own requirements and pet peeves. Some prefer to see your name in the top left corner – others require it to be under the title as a byline. Some instructors demand all citations to be in the inline APA style – others prefer footnotes. Always stick with the requirements for this particular college essay paper or this course. If there are none, politely ask your instructor for clarification. Suppose it's already too late for that. In that case, your best bet is adhering to the APA format since it's the accepted standard in academia.
2. Always start with the thesis statement
The main difference between college-level paper and high school-level paper can be seen in seconds. Just scan the beginning for an articulate, concise, debatable, bold statement, aka the thesis sentence. Please note the "debatable" here. It should be different from the heading. You can't just say, "In this paper, I will analyze how volunteering experience reflects on my peers' future career choices," and call it a thesis.
The whole point of writing a college paper is demonstrating the knowledge and skills you have acquired. It's not just regurgitating what you have read or heard during the lectures. It means analyzing new phenomena, forming a point of view, and arguing this point persuasively while backing it up with evidence.
Don't wait until the conclusion for your big reveal. Instead, state your point upfront and spend the entire paper proving it. To make a proper thesis from the meek example sentence above, we should render it more specific and assertive. For example, "The choice of major and career aspirations in college students are dramatically influenced by their previous volunteering experience." Now, that's more like it. Let's debate and hear the evidence.
3. Don't skip the outline
You remember how your school teacher used to give you A+ for your inspired ramblings only because you threw in a quote or two from the book and used a couple of sophisticated expressions? Those times are over. For a college paper, you must know from the start where your argument is going. You must plan it. To do that, you need to write an outline – a blueprint for your future paper.
Outlining helps you to collect your thoughts and organize them into a coherent argument. It also allows you to see any gaps in your reasoning or evidence and address them timely by doing quick additional research. Finally, with a good outline at hand, you won't forget anything you wanted to include.
Advanced College Paper Writing Tips
One could write a book on how to write a good paper in college. However, we still can fit some crucial tips in this post:
1. Attribute ideas properly
If you want to learn how to write a paper for college, the first thing to remember is citations. Citations are critical. Being freshly from high school, you may not know what all the fuss is about. Why do instructors insist you attribute every single word in that tedious way? After all, you aren't claiming all those ideas as yours. You are showing what you have learned from the course and read in books. Isn't that what you are supposed to do? Well, yes and no.
You may, and you should use other sources as evidence to support your claims. However, you must always clearly reference them, even if you paraphrase. The good practice is to introduce the quote, for example, "As A. Smith points out…" and then citing the source in parentheses after the passage.
2. Use transition expressions
Outlining your paper should tackle the logical order of your essay's sections. However, coming from one paragraph to another while reading can still feel jarring. Although the connection between ideas may seem obvious for you, it may not be so for your reader who is less familiar with the topic.
Lead your reader through the text with the help of transition expressions. Explain why this particular idea follows that one: in the same vein, consequently, to put in another way, with this in mind, due to that, contrary to, point often overlooked, etc. Phrases like these make your text flow seamlessly.
3. Don't forget that you write for humans
Despite all the rumors that no one ever reads college essays, they aren't marked automatically. Your instructor may run your paper through a plagiarism checker or spellchecker to make grading faster. Still, they will most certainly assess your argument by reading the paper carefully. Always remember that when you write.
You aren't just spewing data to verify your knowledge and get the desired grade. You are trying to persuade your reader and win them on your side by presenting your ideas. Entertain them. Although there are certain limitations imposed by academic style, you can still be creative and funny. Some students try to add gravitas to their argument by imitating cumbersome academic jargon and making their style as obscure as possible. Although it lies on the other side of the spectrum from slang and colloquialisms, it is still a mistake to avoid.
Can't imagine how does one comply with academic style and still creates a witty and compelling paper? Our writers can! Order a sample and see for yourself.