STORY TIME ABOUT WRITING IN COLLEGE!

This post is all about writing for college.

In high school I was one of the best writers in my class. I never got less than an “A” on a paper. I was extremely good at creative writing. Not to toot my own horn but…TOOT TOOT! The it came to writing in college…

I still thought I was rather good. However, my professor did not feel the same. She gave me a low C on my first paper I had written for her class.

I was defeated and ready to pack up my Ramen noodles and head back home.

Yet, I decided to tough it out and take all her notes and apply them to the rest of my papers and what do you know! I started getting better grades.

This was definitely a hard pill to swallow but I had to do what I had to do to pass!

A student typing a  paper

Love/Hate Relationship With Writing in College

To tell you the truth: when it comes to writing college papers, “It sucks!!” Even as a person who earns a living from writing like me! I still view college papers with a little hatred from keeping me up all night.

Unlike working a math problem to get to the ONE right answer; writing an academic paper can be extremely frustrating when you aren’t sure which direction to go. You don’t always just open a book and the ideas start flowing.

If this happens to you, I applaud you because it damn sure didn’t happen like that for me.

You are faced with a lot of research, brainstorming, editing, and proofreading. What could be worse right?

Oh yea! CITATIONS!! Ugggggh!!

In the end I discovered different techniques to help me when I was stuck.

So I have some tips on how you can enhance your writing so you won’t get low grades and want to pack up those three plates you “accidentally” took from the dining hall and head back home.

This post shows you how to write for college classes.

1. HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE ASSIGNMENT

A  student typing a  paper

One of the most significant time wasters in writing a paper is writing when you don’t understand the topic! When you get to the end of your writing and you’re not sure if you’ve answered the question means you need to STOP.

Reread the question or topic and try to gain an understanding. Don’t be scared to ask for an explanation from your professor.

A quick email should solve that problem. Don’t be afraid to use that email!

You should always ask for clarification on your paper topics, it doesn’t make you stupid.

Writing a paper on a topic you don’t understand makes you stupid. IJS!

2. RESEARCH LIKE HELL

A  student typing a paper

Find as many scholarly articles about the subject you can. Most times you will be able to pull inspiration from the titles and subtitles of articles and books about the topic.

WARNING!! You must be careful during this step. This is where my ugly best friend PROCRASTINATION comes in and tries to steal all your studying ability.

Looking for an additional source can turn into clicking on that ad of that thing that you wanted to buy but you just put it in your cart because you’re a broke college student on a budget.

Somehow ending up on TikTok doesn’t help you write your papers. It should.

To beat this temptation, you should write notes as you go. Use this writing outline as you research to get all your points onto one cohesive page.

3. CREATE A FLAT OUTLINE

A college student's workspace for writing

As if I haven’t been saying this since tip 1. Lol Creating a detailed outline for your paper is fighting the half the battle.

Use your outline to give you a sense of direction when you begin your paper.

You should have a keyword for each section and 3 different things you want to talk about using that keyword.

Write 2 sentences about each subtopic and you should have about 6 solidly constructed sentences.

Then throw in a quote from a scholarly journal with proper citations of course and BOOM. One paragraph down 12451 to go! …or something like that.

You will edit this 50 times before it’s over if you’re perfectionist like me but at least we have words on the page to work with, right?!

If you have time you can send your outline to your professor just to make sure you are on topic.

Trust me they won’t think you’re annoying. I worried about that a lot and missed a lot of opportunities to get things right the first time.

4. CREATE THE PERFECT COLLEGE WRITING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOU

College clean workspace

Everybody doesn’t get their best work done in a silent dorm room. Others can’t stand having any type of distractions. Whatever works best for you DO THAT!

If you know that you aren’t a group person don’t say yes to working on your paper with a group of students from your class.

You can still go to the session if you need some inspiration or motivation but work on your paper in your favorite writing environment for the best results.

  • Make it comfortable
  • Block digital distractions
  • Assemble your supplies 
  • Put on soft classical music (or whatever keeps you calm)

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5. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

A stack of college papers for research

The best piece of advice I can give you on this tip is to write until you feel that someone who has never heard of this topic could walk away feeling as if they know it all.

5-pages in depth pages that explain your topic and answers all the questions in the prompt is better than 7 fluff filled pages any day.

Unfortunately, attempting to add length to your paper by adding details that are irrelevant or under-researched may cause you to end up missing the point altogether.

6. WRITE THE CONCLUSION AND INTRODUCTION LAST

Writing a conclusion on a college paper

“What!? Introductions are supposed to be written first! It’s in the rules! “

But it’s really not though!

Writing your introduction after you have written your body paragraphs gives you an advantage. You already know what the body of the paper discusses.

All you have to do now is tell your audience what those body paragraphs are talking about.

  • Who is this paper for?
  • Where is this paper leading them to?
  • What questions will it answer?

The conclusion should be your answers to the questions you asked in the introduction. These two paragraphs will be the easiest to write. Plus you have an outline that you will follow.

7. DON’T EDIT ALONE

Two college students editing a paper for class

Finally, get an editing buddy. When you’re editing your paper, you should have an extra set of eyes take a look at it.  You are inherently blind to the mistakes you commonly make in your writing.

However, your errors will be more visible to a fresh set of eyes.

If you don’t like people reading your writing. It’s so strange that you are reading my writing right now honestly!

Use Grammarly! It is the most helpful tool for writers. It will show you all your grammar mistakes and even give you suggestions when your writing sounds a little bleh.

What’s your favorite or least favorite part about writing a paper?

Care to share any tips that have helped you? Help a sister out!

Leave your comment down below.

This post was all bout how to help you write better in college.

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