April 2013
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A Tip about Final Papers

So, a lot of people worry about final papers when they come around in college. They can be long and they can be stressful, but they do not have to be. In thinking about that, I decided to write about a few of the things I have learned help me to make sure my final papers aren’t too stressful.

Tip One, Most final papers are due the week before finals. If you leave them all for the weekend before; it is very difficult to get them all done in time and with a high quality. Plus, if the paper is done early, it is easier to get someone in the writing center to edit it for you. I personally cannot edit my own work, because my head knows what I meant to say, so it is easy to miss mistakes.

Tip Two, keep the page lengths in mind but don’t worry about them when you first outline or draft your paper. A long paper is a lot more overwhelming when you think first about just how long it has to be and not about the content. It is much easier to write a good chunk of the paper and then add or subtract as needed to fit within page requirements. Final papers tend to vary in length, from a little as two or three pages to as much as fifteen. It may sound overwhelming, but it is not as bad as it sounds.

Tip Three, take the time to check the formatting the professor wants. It is an easy fix to change the font and the page margins, so checking the formatting is a simple way to make sure you don’t lose easy points. The format they want is often in the syllabus, but if it isn’t, you can always shoot the professor an email or ask in class.

Tip Four, do not hesitate to ask questions. If you need clarification, help finding sources, or just a little direction; professors are always willing to help. They won’t write the paper for you, but they can offer some direction. Some professors will even read a draft for you and quickly edit it if you have it ready in advance.

Hope these help!

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