Tips for staying on top of papers

4 Dec

As the final weeks of school wind down before Holiday break, papers are starting to build up. Here are some easy tips for staying on top of the last push of work before vacation:

–>Stay organized: write down all due dates for each assignment when you get them (including outlines, first drafts, etc.). Don’t have an outline due? Set your own deadline well before the final draft is due! Setting goals will help ensure you start working early enough.

–>Brainstorm brainstorm brainstorm! You’ll be better prepared to write if you jot down some ideas when you get your assignment. All it takes is 5-10 minutes to get some notes down.

–>Figured out what you are writing about? Put an outline together! This can take many forms: it can be a detailed dissection of topic sentences, evidence, and analysis; or, it can be a more simple framework of your thesis and pieces of evidence. Outlines come in many forms, so make sure you are creating one that works for you.

–>Start writing! I find it easiest to not start with your introduction. Usually it takes writing out your body paragraphs to really understand what you are writing about. So don’t stress about that pesky introduction, get to the meat of things

–>Still finding it hard to get started still? Back away from the computer and talk it out. If you can explain to yourself why you’ve chosen a specific evidence, write down those words! Don’t worry about making everything perfect; the first draft is about getting the rough ideas and words on the paper.

–>If possible, get a draft finished with enough time to let it sit a day or two before looking it over. Getting some distance from your own writing will help you be a more effective and productive editor.

–>Last, but not least, swing by the Writing Center and get another pair of eyes on your paper. You’ll want to make sure your final draft is clean and polished.

Oh, and make sure to relax after you’ve turned it in. Writing papers is tough work, you deserve a break!

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