The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for.
Say you have to write a paper for your Linguistics class.
Take a look at this assignment from an actual college professor: Yow!
Once you know what the prof wants, you can write a one sentence reference that you can refer to whenever you feel like you’re going off course.
Make a list of three strengths and weaknesses you have as a writer.
Even with bullets and commands that’s a lot of text.
Let’s take it section by section, one directive at a time. Go through and find the concepts the prof wants you to cover in the paper. Lord love ‘em, but professors are notorious for giving more information than necessary or saying more than what needs saying, so do your best to boil the assignment down to the essentials with your highlighter: Take note, these macro concepts are often suggestions, not commands. These are the items that must be included in the paper for you to get a good grade.Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper.This means you can begin with the end in mind, crafting the paper around what you know the prof wants to see.To begin with the end in mind, you need to follow three simple steps: Take a few moments to review the assignment and rubric with a pen and highlighter, making notes and underlining key elements the prof wants to see.It may seem counter-intuitive, but using time to get organized saves you time later, and makes the writing process so much simpler.So, here it is, step-by-step: Now, let’s take a look at a sample assignment.They are the prof telling you how to be impressive, clear, or to raise your grade through a demonstration of your wits and knowledge. Usually they are very specific: Clearly, if your paper uses first-person pronouns, it will irk the person giving you the grade—probably best to stay away from that.Your profs know when you don’t take time prewriting, and they know when you’re being wishy-washy or only reading to reinforce your opinion. Also, you should be using scholarly research, which means no random Googling and picking the first things you ping.Universities mandate that professors given students rubrics or some form of assessment guideline.Remember, the rubric for the course on the assignment sheet you’ve been given, you will find a general rubric in the class syllabus, or the professor will include a rubric with an assignment sheet.