Writing Papers

This is kind of off topic for me to write about. But I'm getting questions daily, so I thought this would be a great place to direct those questions, and you won't forget the info. :o)

I know students are really starting to get in the groove in their English classes right now. That being the case means the ever-anticipated papers. Isn't writing papers so much fun? Okay, I know it's not, but one thing it shouldn't be is hard. Teachers give you plenty of time to write a paper, so don't save it until the last day. If you have less time than this, that's okay just combine weeks. It can be done!

Making Papers Easy:

  • Week 1: Create a thesis: This in all honesty should be the hardest part. A well-constructed thesis can make or break your paper. Before you begin writing your thesis, you need to do a simple outline of your paper. Just write down what you want to talk about under each body paragraph and before long you will see where you need to go with your paper.
    • To write your thesis: Rewrite the topic of your paper and include a brief summary of each of your body paragraphs. If you will have a five-paragraph paper, then you should have three short statements in your thesis. (This is very basic Thesis Writing.)
    • Example: Topic is describing apples. In each body paragraph, you will talk about the colors of apples, the taste of apples, and the health factor.
        • Thesis: Apples can be described as colorful, tasty, and nutritious.
  • Week 2: Write the Rough Draft. Spill your guts. Say anything and everything you want to say about your topic. Even if you stray off topic, that's okay. When you notice you have strayed, just get back on topic. The goal is to just get words down on paper. When you finish with your rough draft, put it away. Don't reread it right away. Tuck it in the back of your folder where you won't look at it for awhile.
  • Week 3: Pull out that Rough Draft. (Hopefully, you didn't forget where it was.) Read it. Now, clean it up. This will create your first draft. Move around sentences that are out of order. Remove sentences that are off topic. You may need to change a body paragraph completely, and that's okay. You will most likely have a lot of damage control to do, but when you finish, you will begin to see what you want your paper to be. Just like with the rough draft, when you are finished put it away and don't look at it again.
  • Week 4: Take out your last Draft and reread it. Now, tweak it. For your Final Draft, you should just be making minor changes. You may have more drafts if you have felt it necessary before you get to this stage. But at this stage, it should be minimal changes. This stage is making sure there are transitions from one sentence to another, grammar and spelling errors are handled, and the order of every paragraph is in the order to create the most impact on whoever is reading your paper. When you are finished, read the paper out loud. If it doesn't seem awkward in any way, shape, or form. Then, you have done the very best you can do and should be proud to turn it in to your teacher.

Another aspect that helps with writing papers is peer editing. As many eyes as possible reading your paper, can give you an advantage as long as your peer editor doesn't try to make the paper sound like something they would have written, because then you lose your voice. My next post will talk about a program that is great to use when you either don't have peer editing, or your peer editor is lacking abilities. 

Lots of Love.

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