Let’s face it: writing school papers is a necessary evil. It’s something we dread, but we have to do it over and over again. It can be so hard to know where to start, and sometimes, no matter how hard you work on your paper, you just can’t seem to achieve the grade you know you deserve. There’s no reason to despair, however, because we’ve put together the following tips and tricks so you can easily write the perfect school paper every time.
1 – Know the topic
This might be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easily this point can be overlooked. Do you really know the topic you’re writing about through and through? Do you understand the question properly? Before you start, ensure you discuss the topic with your peers first to be sure you have a handle on exactly what you need to write about.
2 – Start with a good argument
Your perfect paper will be flawed if you don’t make a strong argument, to begin with. Don’t be afraid to make your position known and then stand firmly by it. Your paper will be stronger when the reader doesn’t have to guess the angle you are taking.
3 – Back up your argument
This point is key. Once you have presented your argument, make sure you provide the evidence to back it up. You will need several paragraphs that support your argument in different ways so that by the time the reader has finished your paper, they firmly agree with your argument. It also doesn’t hurt to add an alternative argument near the end, to show that you’ve considered your argument from all points of view.
4 – Proofread
Make sure you proofread your paper several times. Use your spelling and grammar checking software. Remember that some words may be wrong but the spelling may be correct, so try and proofread with an objective eye. It might even help to get a trusted peer to proofread your paper too because very rarely do we see all of our own mistakes. Another set of eyes will never go astray.
5 – Don’t plagiarize
You will not be the first person to take on the argument that you are presenting, but that doesn’t mean that you need to straight out copy another person’s work. Instead of plagiarizing, consider aspects of other work and present them as referenced evidence to support your own argument.
6 – Avoid being too wordy
No one likes a showoff, and when you read the work of someone who is trying to flaunt their vocabulary it usually comes off as wishy-washy and convoluted. Stick to the language you need to get your argument across as this is the only goal of your paper.
7 – Don’t use filler words
It becomes really obvious to the reader when you are using extra words to beef up your word count. This point goes hand in hand with the point above, but rather than showing off, using nonsensical filler will throw off the course of your argument. For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly” and “thirdly” should be used sparingly.
8 – Write and revise
Remember: the first write up of your paper is your draft. So many students fall into the trap of thinking they are done with their paper at the draft stage. You need to re-read your whole paper and consider whether your argument is strongly supported by what you have written and if it is not – revise! No one gets it right on the first try.
9 – You can always get help
Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone and that’s okay. There are tons of resources out there to help you with every stage of writing your paper. Your school will offer certain services, like proofreading. In fact, if I wanted someone to write my paper for cheap, I could have that done as well. All you need to do is reach out to your school or to online resources and you’ll find the help you need.
10 – Conclude your paper well
It’s one thing to make a strong argument, but by concluding your paper properly, you leave the reader with a lasting impression. In the conclusion, you need to present your argument in the context of all the evidence that has been given to really drive home the stance you are taking.
Writing school papers may be boring, but there’s no need for the process to be difficult. By following these tips and tricks, your school papers will be fully formed and full of quality evidence to drive home your argument. By planning your paper around this guideline, you can clarify your thoughts and improve your school paper writing skills.