Hi dude! 😊
Have you ever thought that college professors are the ones who have to check hundreds if not thousands of student works daily? When you can just draft something quickly and submit it (unless you are a nerd who really loves getting work done in the best quality possible and devotes a lot of time to writing daily), professors need to thoroughly check every writing piece, and they roll their eyes once again seeing simple mistakes that could easily be avoided.
A lot of professors notice that many students who have studied at a college for some time still don't know how to write a college paper. It's not a sort of skill that requires developing for years, but sometimes students simply don't pay enough attention to learning the mechanics of writing a college paper. With an aim to take your academic writing to the next level, you first need to learn some theory.
So, homie, if you wish to develop a skill of writing a good college paper and start getting a steady stream of good grades for your assignments, this quick guide to writing the best college papers is for you! We will gladly tell how you can leave a good impression on even the most demanding professors.
P.S. All of the advice below is provided by a professor of economics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, who wants to help students gain knowledge of better academic writing that can also be helpful in their future careers.
You should consider the specifics of dealing with college tasks to become a cool writer and amaze professors tired of checking works that are average at best. Let's take this in small steps.
For your college research paper, you should sweat some and conduct in-depth research on the topic. The professor's advice here is to use the course lectures that you should have recorded before, and include them in your work. They initially were intended to help you understand the course material, that's why it's natural that your professor wants to see these readings in your research paper. That way, they expect you to show how well you can apply knowledge gained over the whole course in your writing. Along with that, it is important to cite these materials flawlessly. We assume you know that all the ideas that don't belong to you should be cited in academic work. Make sure you include other people's thoughts in your reference list or bibliography.
With the aim of crafting a strong college paper, you have to state your thoughts clearly and confidently in your thesis statement at the beginning of the piece. It should be put upfront to make your reader know what you are writing about from the first paragraphs of your college work. It can be just one sentence, but it should indicate what the main idea of your entire writing is. And a thesis can easily make or break a paper - if it states your point not clearly and concisely enough, the whole text will carry a blurry meaning and contain thoughts not connected with each other.
Just see for yourself:
What thesis statement is more specific? Which one would catch your eye if you were a teacher or professor? The first idea is too general, but the second one is a specific topic broad enough to create a good paper.
When you select subject for your thesis statement, you need to make sure it is related to your course readings, and the arguments you use to support your central point should be taken from materials covered in class. You are free to use outside sources as well. The important thing here is also to keep in mind your imaginary audience (it is not your professor, they are more of a judge here). Technically, your professor will check how well you managed to convey your idea to these imaginary readers.
You can try doing the following: imagine that instead of a writing process, you are involved in a trial as a lawyer, and you have your paper to convince a judge that the imaginary bad guy is guilty. Your arguments should be used to make a professor, "a judge," get as many eyewitnesses and evidence of a crime as possible. You can freely use both the sources that support your thesis and contradict it because the latter will help you find potential arguments on why contradictory evidence is incorrect. Try to analyze the opinions of other authors who don't support your central idea and try to convince "the judge" that what they said doesn't defeat your argument. Be careful about using outdated resources too.
When writing a college paper, you should bear in mind that your introduction has two main goals:
It is always a good idea to start an introduction with something general but not too broad like:
This introduction here sounds too general and just states the well-known fact. Let's try to come up with an introduction that would give more specificity to the subject you are about to uncover in your paper.
Sounds better, doesn't it?
When it comes to conclusions, they should conclude your idea and once again state what you were trying to say in your academic writing. The conclusion of a paper should be concise.
The thoughts of other people that you used in the assignment should always be mentioned in a reference list or an annotated bibliography. Just think - when you make your own genius ideas and opinions publicly accessible, you want to be given credit if someone decides to use them, right? That is why you should make sure that you did the same with other authors' ideas. Every paper is about doing research based on other writers' materials and developing your own opinions and ideas using these sources. That's why your readers should see all of that in your college paper writing. Think of it as if you are a lawyer who says in a court that you know some people witnessed the crime. The judge would want to know who these people were and what exactly they saw. Provide them with this info!
Formatting nuances will depend on the formatting style you need to use, but to give a citation, you should note the author's name, the source's date of publishing, and the number of the page with text you used. It will show that you have read the source with the material you deemed worth mentioning. Remember that you should include an in-text citation if you quote a writer word for word or paraphrase their words.
The same applies to the use of statistics. Otherwise, you might face plagiarism accusations and be punished for this academic crime. A lot of college professors take plagiarism very seriously, and they won't hesitate to initiate an educational dishonesty process if you fail to acknowledge all the brilliant ideas of other authors you used in your college paper. Professors agree that there is no such thing as citing too much when writing a college paper, but citing too little can be an issue. You will inevitably face unpleasant consequences if you forget to cite other people's thoughts.
This part of your work should list all of the sources you have cited in your writing. If you got some ideas from a certain source and you didn't plan to mention them, you might need to explain that to your instructor, so it is always a good idea to cite everything that you used in your work and list it following the formatting style your teacher or professor told you to use.
Generally, college professors don't get too fussy about the details in your entries. You just have to mention all the relevant information about the source:
If you cite a book, make sure to underline or italicize the book title, or if it's an article, to put its title in quotes. For net sources, mention the author and the title of the page and the complete URL, along with the date of accessing the source. And if you have any questions regarding bibliography formatting, feel free to turn to the syllabus.
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