Help writing college papers can be difficult, especially if you’re not exactly sure what the paper assignment is asking of you or how to format it correctly. If you’re having trouble with your college paper, these three tips will help you make sure that your paper doesn’t fall flat, and that it does everything it needs to to get the grade you want!
1) Include Statistics and Research
Data and research are going to get you a lot of points with admissions officers and make your paper stand out from all of those other, less compelling personal statements. But it’s important that you find relevant sources and use them correctly.
Incorporate facts and figures from books, studies, or reliable websites into your writing, but don’t just cut-and-paste large blocks of text into your application. This is a lazy scholarship college admissions officers see it all too often—and there’s no room for laziness when you’re trying to prove that you deserve a spot at their school.
2) Keep it Concise
Although a minimum word count can be helpful in ensuring that your paper is long enough to cover all its bases, it’s important not to go overboard. A lengthy college paper can quickly become overwhelming and lose focus on its purpose. As you’re writing, you might also find yourself including fluff just because there’s space for it, so be sure to avoid that temptation by keeping your paper concise.
Clarity matters too! Complex concepts will likely get lost if they’re buried under unnecessary phrases or jargon. If you don’t understand a sentence or a section of text after re-reading it several times, then it probably needs more work before being sent off for grading.
3) Edit and Proofread
Just because you wrote your college paper doesn’t mean it’s ready for publication. Proofreading can be a crucial part of making sure your paper is at its best. Get someone else to proofread your work before submitting it. Better yet, get a couple of people to proofread for you so that you can spot any mistakes or errors with fresh eyes.
Having multiple eyes on your work improves accuracy, but it also helps refine readability and style. That said, there are some stylistic points that vary from school to school, and there’s no substitute for checking with an English professor if something seems off in terms of grammar or formatting.
When it comes time to write a college paper, there are many different ways you can approach it. There is no one-size-fits-all method, and what works for your friend might not work for you. The key is to find an approach that works for you and then stick with it.
It’s also important to remember that, even though a research paper might feel intimidating, college papers are usually nothing more than an in-depth view of topics you’re already interested in. Even if you’re writing on something unfamiliar, with a little bit of research and patience, you’ll be able to turn any topic into an interesting and well-written essay.