There are so many new realizations that come with moving to college. Aside from restructuring your life and adjusting to the college lifestyle, other new experiences happen in the classroom. One of them is learning how to write in college.
As a new college student, you’ll encounter much different writing. One of them is writing college papers. College papers differ from the college essays you write when seeking admission. They are advanced writing done in college with a specific writing format.
Many students quickly dread writing papers once they realize the level of work and commitment that goes into them. Still, it’s a necessary part of completing your college education. Fortunately, you can learn to curate well-written papers even as a new student. This article covers helpful strategies and tips to use for this purpose.
Types of papers in college
Every college paper does not follow the same writing pattern. As such, there are different types of papers. Knowing the types of papers will prepare your mind if you encounter them. They are:
- Research writing
- Report writing
- Case studies
- Opinion essays
- Reflective essays
How to write a college paper for students
Writing in college is always a new experience for first-year students, especially. It’s your first introduction to the writing style in college. There are similarities between high school writing and college writing. But their differences also abound. So, if you are finding it hard, these tips for writing papers in college will guide you:
- Learn the college terminologies & writing style
Master the language choices and writing style in college. Once you have an idea of the choice of language and writing style, you start getting acquainted with how papers are written.
- Learn reference styles
There are different referencing styles for citation in college. There’s the MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard reference style. All these styles apply to different disciplines. Find out which of them applies to yours and learn and master how to use them.
- Always conduct thorough research
You’ll be surprised how much research improves your knowledge of a topic. No matter how challenging the topic might be, first do some research. Through research, you develop more ideas that’ll inform your writing.
- Draft an outline
After you’ve conducted some research on the topic, outline and fill it with all the points, new ideas, and subtopics; use the outline as a guide to gradually build up your paper.
- Quote sources
In academia, quoting sources is essential. It’s impossible to write any academic paper without referencing anyone. Why? It is because there have been others who have written in that area. While they might not have written from your perspective, their works must have served as guides while writing.
- Be analytical
Academic papers are meant to analyze and give plausible feedback on a topic. When writing your paper, break down points and back them up with evidence. Pick a side of an argument and develop your points as well.
- Avoid plagiarism
You are faulted the moment you plagiarize an academic paper. If you are faulted, it’ll affect your grades. Professors have plagiarism detectors to fact-check the originality of your paper.
- Proofreading & editing
For an error-free paper, always proofread your paper. Use editing tools to check your grammar, tenses, spelling, and of course, for plagiarism.
How to head a college paper
College writing doesn’t just end with writing a paper. Collegiate writing requires that your work should be readable. So, here’s how to head your paper:
- Use a 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman
- Your paper should have a 1-inch page margin on the left, right, top, and bottom
- Write your name exactly how it appears in your school documentation (first and last name)
- Include your professor’s name using their correct title
- Include the course title and code
- Include the date
- Your paper title should use double-spaced lines
Writing a college paper might seem challenging. But learning the rules and format helps you improve your knowledge and helps you write better. With the tips above, you can write an excellent college paper seamlessly – regardless of the type.