5 Steps to Nailing Your Research Paper
As many students prepare to start writing their second semester research papers, thoughts of dread and anxiety begin to kick in. These five tips may just help alleviate the stresses of research papers:
1) Picking your Book.
English teacher Virginia Pendleton says, “When having the freedom to choose a novel for a research paper, I encourage my students to do some investigative research, not just on the novel’s content but also on the author’s particular style. Sometimes you might love the subject matter, but loathe the prose. Finding a novel that will engage a student helps to guarantee whether or not she will commit to reading the book and not just merely Sparknote it.”
2) Planning It Out.
Planning out a graph or a rough outline ahead of time can greatly help the final results of the paper. Whether it’s color coded or just a few bullet points, it’s crucial to gathering your ideas before the final draft.
When asked about the importance of organization, freshman Alinna Laspirso says, “organization plays a major role in my writing process. I create a schedule and it reduces stress that may have been applied if I had tried writing the paper last minute.”
3) Beginning to Write.
Remember to space it out so you’re not stuck writing the entire paper the night before it’s due. Taking ten minute breaks for every 50 minutes of work is one method to take some necessary breaks to relax and refresh your mind.
4) Printing It Out.
Senior Kendall Perez says, “Sophomore year I waited until the last minute to print out my research paper only to find that it [the printer] was broken. My parents were asleep and I couldn’t drive so I couldn’t even go to Fedex. I asked my dad if we could go to school early that morning but there was a car accident and I barely got it printed in time. You never know what might happen so I always check my printer a few hours before I have to print something out.”
5) Turning It In
Make sure to leave for school early that day in case traffic holds you up. After checking to make sure everything is together and you’ve turned in your paper, you can get yourself a sweet treat to reward yourself.
Writing a research paper might seem like a burden, but by staying on top of it and giving yourself enough time to complete it, it’s not too bad. The English department is always there to help you out when you have questions; just send them an email and schedule a time to see them to discuss your paper.