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Student Recommendations


Students' Recommendations for Writing Papers

  1. Start on it as soon as you find out about it even if you just brainstorm on a piece of paper.

  2. Keep a folder just for that paper and put everything related to the paper in the folder, including the paper from number one.

  3. Starting early helps because if you get stuck you have to get help.

  4. Talk to a number of people whose academic opinion you trust and get their opinion/advice.

Give yourself plenty of time to write a paper.  Take your time with it, research the topic well and make sure you have someone else proofread it.

  1. Use “active” voice

  2. Know APA format well

  3. Organize your thoughts first

  4. Think about how you want to write the paper.

  5. Give yourself plenty of time to write your paper, so you can make changes.

  6. Edit your paper, have your professor edit your paper, have peers edit your paper.

When you write a paper -- the actual writing is the simplest part.  My suggestion to make your life a hell of a lot easier is ORGANIZE.  It seems like a waste of time at first -- to brainstorm, make lists, outlines, etc. -- but when you have all of your relevant info in order and you’ve weeded out all the garbage that might have lost you points down the road, you really begin to appreciate it. – Rachel Campbell

  1. Don't procrastinate

  2. Set personal deadlines, if something is due on Friday, tell yourself it’s due Wednesday.  Have it done early.

  3. Edit your paper and revise it at least twice.

Some information that might be helpful to a student writing a paper might be to make sure they come to class.  By do so the student is less likely to misunderstand what needs to be done.  Visit and talk to the instructor because they are all more than willing to help the student with writing ideas and style.  Talk with other students to help form ideas, have them read over your paper to help with the way something should sound or a better way to write it.

The most important part of writing a paper is to learn the art of revising it.  Take constructive criticism and learn from mistakes.  Also, get "involved" in the topic as much as possible and make it mean something to you.  This will enable the ideas to flow better. – Jessica Hargenrader

I won't give you more than I think you can handle! – Jeanne Slattery

These comments were from students in PSY 240, Thinking and writing in Psychology, during Fall 2003, Clarion University.