Spelling Errors, and How to Avoid Them

Many students today tend to “write like they talk.” This means that their writing may not take notice of things like spelling and sound-alike words. In a first draft, that’s understandable. Some students don’t realize that the word they wrote isn’t the word they meant to use. Others are hoping for the best, because they […]

too many ideas

The Too-Many-Ideas Problem

So your teacher just told you that for your final paper, you need to write eight pages on a course-related topic. Let’s say it’s a course on race and ethnic problems in the United States. That’s a really big topic, and as a result, too many ideas start to spill into your mind. You could […]

citation styles

Making Citations Easy

Too many students have been trained into stressing out about the minutiae of citation styles. They worry that a misplaced comma, or an underline instead of an italicized string of words, will bring their grade down or fail them on a paper. Fretting about MLA, Chicago or ASA style takes up more of their time than […]

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 […]

Three Things To Help You Write an A+ Research Paper

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 […]