college paper

What Kind of Paper Does Your Professor Want to See?

When students get an assignment for a “paper,” many times they don’t have a clue what kind of paper it is. Too many times, they assume it’s an essay, full of opinions, like just about every paper they’ve written in high school. They think a college paper is just another paper. But there are several […]

choosing a paper topic

The ACE Method for Choosing a Paper Topic

One of the biggest problems students report with college writing assignments is choosing a paper topic. In college, you’re expected to pick your own topic, most of the time – but most college students have never had the training in how to do that. In high school, they were always provided with a topic and told […]

page count

Page Count is Professor Shorthand

Many students see meeting the page count or word count as the goal of writing a paper. They have to churn out 1,000 words or 10 pages to meet some standard that isn’t made clear to them. As a result, they turn in badly written, hurriedly written, rapidly typed, non-proofread pages full of words. They […]

stressing out about grades

Why Grades Are Misleading

Too often, college students are stressing out about grades, instead of focusing on what they’re learning. This is a backwards method of trying to succeed, and it often sets students up for failure instead. For one thing, it sets up grades as a competition for scarce resources – “If I want to get an A, […]

making mistakes

Why Making Mistakes Is Important

Too many undergraduate students are afraid of making mistakes. It’s not surprising. They’ve spent years in a system where memorization and spitting out information was more important than learning and understanding: the high-stakes standardized testing environment. In that environment, students learn that the person who makes the fewest mistakes gets the best scores, the most […]

Three Things Students Don’t Know About College Research

If you’re a brand-new college undergraduate, the chances are good that high school didn’t teach you what your professors expect you to know about doing college research. Instead of research papers, you were probably taught the inverted-pyramid essay, the five-paragraph essay, or the expressive essay. This means that when the dreaded research paper rears its head […]