by Shelbie Barney / Log Staff writer / FYE Mentor
Finals are quickly approaching and that means tests, papers and projects. If you’re someone like me, then tests are something you do not have to worry about as much. Papers are beginning to take up all my finals, and they can be both a blessing and a curse. Are you overwhelmed with all the papers you have to write? Here are 5 tips on how to get the grade you want! To learn more about Shelby and FYE, click here
1. Start early
This may seem obvious, but starting your papers early have many benefits. One is that you’re able to proofread earlier, allowing edits to be done by yourself, a friend or a tutor in the writing center (located in the Berry Library, room 113). Starting early also allows you to work on your other papers in a more timely manner, so you aren’t working on four papers at a time. Lastly, starting early gives you the opportunity to be with the material a longer amount of time, giving you a stronger paper.
2. Create an outline
This is another thing that may seem totally obvious, but creating an outline helps you plan, organize, and write your paper. With the outline, the majority of your paper is written and it helps you stay on track! Sometimes papers seem to be your thoughts just thrown onto a document, but with an outline you stay consistent, editing is easier, and citing sources is done in a pinch!
3. Know what the prompt is asking
Sometimes the prompt for a research paper or thesis is confusing, so make sure you know exactly what the question is! This is another reason why you should start your papers early. You can message your professor or stop by their office hours so they can help you with understanding the prompt. Definitely don’t wait until the night the paper’s due to talk to your professor: start early.
4. Have someone proofread your paper
Whether it’s a classmate, friend or tutor, having a second opinion always helps! These people can help you find mistakes you didn’t catch the first time, or rework your paper to organize it in a way that flows.
5. Don’t do the paper all in one night
Doing the outline, finding the sources, and writing the whole paper can be overwhelming. It is even more overwhelming if you work on it all in one night, especially the night before. Break your paper up into smaller sections. Find the sources one night, make the outline the next night, and you can write a few pages at a time per night. Leave a night aside for someone to edit and review your paper so you can edit it. This will take you the same amount of time as if you were writing it all in one night. But this way, your paper is stronger.
Good luck on finals! If you need any help with these steps, feel free to reach out to the First Year Experience Office in Meier Hall 100A.