UNITED STATES—College can be confusing for most students, especially those who have yet to perfect their research and writing skills. According to a recent survey, the related skills of writing and logical reasoning were listed as two of the most skills for college success. Asked about skills most students lack, educators report that many learners struggle to create exceptional written projects.
While the nature of college education has changed considerably over the past decade, partly thanks to technological innovation, the importance of quality writing remains the same. This article summarizes a few tips to help students navigate the writing process.
- Plan Well and Prepare What You Need
College programs are fast-paced, and you may find yourself struggling to complete several urgent projects, all due within a short span. To successfully navigate the writing process, review your assignments, take note of your deadlines, and plan appropriately.
Schedule your tasks, starting with the most urgent projects, before proceeding to others. Also, consider breaking larger and more complex tasks into simpler and more manageable parts. Work on small tasks each day, allowing you to avoid procrastination and manage your assignment load. You can also get help with your assignment by working with a reliable essay writing service.
- Read and Understand the Instructions
Understand that it is impossible to create exceptional academic essays if you don’t understand the expectations. The good news is that each college task you will be assigned will have instructions regarding a prompt and rubric. Review the prompt and ensure you understand what the professor wants. Seek clarification for anything that seems unclear. Check for information on the length of your assignment and the formatting and citation requirements.
- Choose Interesting Themes
One of the most vital elements of effective academic writing is topic selection. So often, students are assigned topics to base their writing on or lists of topics from which they can choose their titles. In such instances, your work will ensure your writing remains relevant and engaging, and when given room to design your topic, read and understand the requirements, tailoring your selection appropriately.
Ensure that your chosen topic is appropriate for the length and scope of your paper. Avoid too narrow or too broad topics to be comprehensively covered based on the scope of the assignment. Also, avoid topics that push you to summarize rather than analyze or discuss issues.
Most importantly, choose a topic that you find intriguing since you will need to work on the task for several days. Working on an interesting topic will make the process more enjoyable. You should also conduct preliminary research to see whether you have enough sources and evidence to support your arguments.
- Brainstorm and Outline
You will need to generate ideas for your academic writing before you can start working on your first draft. A deliberate brainstorming session allows you to come up with ideas on which to base your arguments. Brainstorming entails thinking about the topic and writing down whatever comes to mind. Then, you can analyze the generated points further, researching them to develop an outline and prepare for the writing process. In cognitive terms, brainstorming activates prior knowledge and helps you identify places requiring more research.
On the other hand, outlining is a tool skilled writers use to organize their ideas, visualize their document’s potential structure, and flesh out points. Outlining allows you to develop the ideas created during the brainstorming session and understand how to link the information to support the thesis statement and the claims you make in the paper.
- Research and Organize Your Findings
Creating a quality academic paper is impossible if you don’t research widely. You may have read somewhere that college-level papers should be original and unique. While this is largely true, the core of academic writing is to base current knowledge on established evidence and proven theories. It means you must anchor your knowledge in the context of evidence-based knowledge in the field.
Once you have prepared and created an outline, start gathering information and interrogating sources for the writing process. All the sources you use should be authoritative and peer-reviewed. Professors prefer recent sources containing proven information. Use material from books, peer-reviewed articles, and government publications. Ake sure to cite all sources you use to support your discussion.
Writing a great academic paper requires planning and careful research. If you plan well and create an outline, your draft will be simpler and more effective. Ensure to create time for editing and proofreading your paper.