Succeeding at the University Paper

Written by Katherine Nocera

I think we all can relate to the feeling when your professor announces a 30% paper that is due in t-minus two weeks. Your palms get sweaty and your eyes may even begin to water a little bit. Hey, I am defiantly not speaking from experience…*insert sarcasm here*. The point is that we have all experienced these feelings! So without further ado, here are some tips which will help you pull off writing an insanely great paper that will officially promote you to a “University Style Writer.”

Let’s get started!

#1 Don’t start the paper the night before!

If there is one tip I am going to emphasize, it is this one. Professors hand out a 30% paper two plus weeks in advance because they want everyone to start it two plus weeks in advance. Comprendo? Believe me, I’ve managed to learn from experience. I suggest planning a paper-writing schedule. This way you will be able to organize your thoughts. For instance…

Monday: Brainstorm

Tuesday: Write Outline

Wednesday: Take a Break                    

Thursday: Review Outline and Make Changes

Friday: Start Rough Draft

#2 Prepare an outline.

In high school, I rarely prepared an outline before I wrote a paper. I never thought that I needed an outline and I would just start typing whatever came to mind….this is bad, very, very bad. One thing I learned from university is that outlines are like a sidekick. They work with you, not against you, and have your back at all times. I highly suggest creating an outline for any assignment.  It helps filter your ideas and makes the essay writing a 110 times easier! Here’s a sample that may work for you

essay writing stress

#3 Ask questions in advance.

By preparing your paper outline in advance, it helps with this next step. By giving yourself enough time to look over the essay guidelines, you will be able to ask any necessary questions to your professor at least a week in advance. This way, you will not need to email your professor the night before in hopes for an answer to your important question. Asking questions is really important so you know you really understand what is being asked of you. Don’t feel nervous to ask your professor- they are there to help you!

# 4 Go see Jackie Tinson, writing instructor.

Although I have only been at Trent for 5 months, I have quickly realized the benefit of using the learning support service! If you have any questions or want your writing edited, book an appointment with Jackie Tinson by speaking with the front office. I promise, you will not be disappointed! She’s fantastic and completely free!

#5 Believe in your abilities.

I know, I know…this tip is very cliché but just bear with me. Although my above tips regard structural tips in essay writing I also think there is a mental/emotional portion in paper writing. When writing a paper that involves using your own criticism or ideas, it can be stressful. There are always doubts about the validity of your ideas. The solution is confidence. You need to believe in your alibies. This way, it will translate onto the paper and create a convincing and passionate piece.

I hope you all follow these helpful tips!

Ciao. Xx

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