Writing a long paper that will impress your professor can be a challenge. You may be tempted to delay getting started, but don’t wait until the last minute or you may not get a good grade. Sadly, few students get organized and fall behind. Need a few tips to get ahead?
Choose a topic that interests you
This may require some initial research to come up with one that your professor approves. Don’t try and take the easy way out and use a site that sells project papers. Trust me. Professors aren’t stupid. They use specialized services to check every paper to make sure it’s an original one. Plagiarism is grounds for dismissal and expulsion from most colleges. Just don’t go there. It’s not worth it.
Research your topic in depth
Take advantage of all the research resources you’ve got. Search online for relevant materials. Go to your college library. A library may seem old school, but librarians are the bomb when it comes to ferreting out information (that’s what they’ve been trained to do).
Create an outline
Smart students create an outline so they remember to hit all the main points. An outline acts like a map. It shows you where your reader will start and how to get them to the logical conclusion of your paper.
Write the first draft
Tackle each section of your outline. You don’t have to go in any particular order. Some famous writers are known for having written their conclusions first. Then they went back and constructed their paper to logically lead the reader to that conclusion. Still others take the sections they find easiest, or like the most, saving the others for later. Others do the opposite – taking the toughest sections first when they have a lot of energy. However you choose to approach the process, be sure to let your thoughts flow and don’t get too hung up on formatting and grammar. It's more important to capture what you're thinking.
Read your first draft and polish it
Wait a day or two and then reread your draft. Now you can reorganize what you’ve written if need be, or add more content that you forgot. Make sure that each paragraph logically leads to the next one. Check your grammar, spelling, punctuation. And don’t forget to cite your source material correctly.
Have some else read it
Give your paper to someone else whose opinion you trust and let them read your paper. Ask them to check that you’ve presented your information clearly and logically. Also ask them to look for grammar errors, typos, and punctuation problems.
Fix the problems they've found and submit it!
Amani’s Final Filmmaking Paper
Amani is graduating from film school. She wants to work behind the scenes doing film editing. Her final writing assignment is to write an analysis and critique of a famous film maker’s camera techniques. She’s chosen Alfred Hitchcock.
She’s been working on this paper for a few months and using Samepage to keep her organized. Her Samepage has all her research files securely in one location. She’s been uploading photos, videos, and documents — all types of files that are important to her project that she can access wherever she goes, on any device.
She shares her Samepage with her mentor so he can review and comment on her work. This makes her work go faster, because they can communicate without having to always be face-to-face. Amani’s about halfway done with her project, and making steady progress every day.
Let Samepage help you organize your final project too.