Tips on How to Write a College Paper Successfully

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College paper or university paper is one of the most important and frequent academic tasks, which every college or university student has to do. However, not everyone possesses the knowledge to write a good college paper. This is especially true for freshmen, as in high school they have not been told the difference between an essay and a college paper. Check out our collection of the best tips on how to successfully write a college paper.

The Purpose of College Papers

The main purpose of writing a college paper is to consolidate the student’s knowledge gained in the course of the educational process in a specific subject area. Thanks to the college papers, it is easier for teachers to check the quality of the knowledge acquired by the student and their ability to apply this knowledge to the solution of academic problems.

The task of a particular college paper may differ depending on specialization or academic discipline. Sometimes the requirements dictate the need for full-fledged scientific research, and sometimes it is enough to study theoretical material.

For example, a first-year student’s paper in psychology may consist only of theory, while his future colleagues from senior years must conduct empirical research and field studies.

The Difference with High Schools Papers

Here we come to the key difference between a high school paper and a college paper, and the reason why so many freshmen fail in writing a decent college paper. The thing is that in high schools a student is most often required to demonstrate creativity and imagination, whereas in colleges and universities students are expected to show critical judgment, analytical thinking, argumentative reasoning and use a finer scientific language.

Tips on How to Write a College Paper Successfully

  1. Before starting to write on paper, write it in your head first. Perhaps in high school, writing without clear structure and purpose was enough; however, this is not the case with college papers. You need to imagine the paper in your head first, including key statements, scientific goals, and questions, arguments, facts, reference sources, etc.
  2. Start with examples of the best college papers. Often, professors provide specific requirements and set particular expectations for their college paper tasks. They may also keep examples of what the best college paper looks like. Check these things first, as this will save you tons of time and nerves. 
  3. Never try to copy someone else’s college paper. Even a single paragraph or sentence can be classified as plagiarism and your entire paper will be rejected. If you do have to refer to external sources – make sure to arrange it correctly and include them in your reference list.

These days, there are hundreds f online tools to check written works for plagiarism. Better use several; not just a single one. And remember that your professor may also be using powerful plagiarism checking tools, so you’d better double-check everything yourself before submitting the entire paper to the professor. 

  1. Find a comfortable place to write your paper. You should try writing your college paper in different locations around your campus and at different times of the day. Maybe you have the highest energy and inspiration at night; alternatively, try getting up 15 minutes earlier and writing in the morning. If noise is bothering you and prevents you from focusing, try writing in a quiet and comfortable place. Find the right environment for you that will contribute to better writing.
  2. Always interconnect Conclusion and Introduction. Only when the theoretical and practical parts of the work are ready, you can start writing “Conclusion” and “Introduction”. It is important to understand that “Conclusion” and “Introduction” are highly interconnected, and are a logical continuation of each other.

“Conclusion” usually ranges from 1.5-2 pages and is formed on the basis of key takeaways of each chapter and of the work as a whole. In the “Conclusion” it is necessary to describe whether the goals that were set for the work in the “Introduction” were achieved, whether the scientific routines were observed, listing which results were obtained, if those coincide with our assumptions, what recommendations are possible based on the work done, etc.

Likewise, “Introduction” – is one of the most important structural parts of a college paper, which outlines its essence. It is always located at the beginning of a paper, right after the title and contents section. Depending on the discipline and level of work performed, “Introduction” may include a hypothesis, a description of the subject and object of research, goals and objectives, bibliography, and methodology.

The Bottom Line

So, writing college papers is a rather difficult and very time-consuming process. However, if you follow our tips and gain experience, this process will take you less and less time. It may become perfectly feasible to write a college paper within a few days, perhaps even overnight. In any case, we advise not to postpone starting a college paper until the very last day.