How to Write a Successful College Paper

It is not always easy writing a college paper. They can be very detail oriented and time consuming. There are steps to take to produce a paper that is worthy of a high grade.  I would say don’t wait until the last day to write the paper, but I am famous for waiting until the last day to write my paper. However even though I wait, I get a high grade.

First of all, write your thesis. This is the main point of your essay.  If the paper will be using a thesis map, figure out what points you plan to write about. I like the thesis map best because it helps the essay flow fluently. This will make the research and organization easier.

If the paper requires research, get that done. To make it easier to incorporate into your paper paraphrase as you take notes. This way what you are writing down will be ready to put in your paper and you won’t have to spend time paraphrasing. Also note what you will be citing for the paper and where the citation belongs.

It is normal if you feel like your ideas are mixed up and jumbled in your head at this point. The most important thing is getting them on paper.  As you think of something, write it down.  

Before starting your paper read over the notes and number each point regarding where it will be in the essay. This will help when you start writing.

Once you have all of the information written down it is time to write your paper. Using all of your notes, write an introduction using the thesis and thesis map that you created.   

Move on to each paragraph of the essay using your notes. Add anything new that you think of as you go and cite your sources as you write.

Last is the conclusion. You need to re-state the thesis and the thesis map and then tie the paper together.

Now comes the editing process. First use spell check to pick up the big errors. Then read your essay to find more errors. You will find several mistakes the first time.

Walk away for a while. Come back and go over your essay again. Repeat these steps until your essay is free of mistakes.

Writing essays seems hard but it really is not. If you relax and follow these steps you should be able to come up with an essay that will make you proud and get a good grade.




*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

Kim Miller

About Kim Miller

I am a single mom of two sons, 15 and 18 years old. I also have an 8 month old grandson. I recently earned my BA in Elementary Education and am working toward an MA in Elementary Education. I love working with children and watching them learn.

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