If there is one word to describe the life of a college student it would be “busy.” Every college student usually enrolls in about 4 or 5 classes at a time. They also usually are involved at least one organization. Also, many students need to have a “life” in college which means simply relaxing or partaking an a hobby that interests them. Therefore, it may be very hard when a student is given the dreadful assignment of a term paper due to their hectic schedule. Nevertheless, a student must complete their work before the deadline. If a student decided to complete their assignment in one night, I have offered a few steps of how to handle it.
There is no way a term paper can be completed in one night if research is not performed beforehand. So when I talk about completing the paper in one night, I am talking about the writing portion.
Here are the steps in order to complete your paper:
1. Read research material
3. Get in the zone
Read Research Material – Obviously, you have to read your supporting material in order to use it for your paper. College professors will usually require you to use scholarly articles from academic journals that are peer reviewed. It can be a dreadful task to read these articles because many of them are about 30 pages long. Here is a tip – do not read the whole article! It is nice to read the whole article, but it is not necessary because you only need to focus on the results of the study in the article. The results of the study in the article will be used as supporting material, so just focus on that section. When you read the results of the studies, highlight the information that stands out or that you will cite in your paper. By the way, every time you mention something from someone else’s work, you have to cite. You should also use different color highlighters for each section in your paper. For example, if you need to provide three pieces of supporting material in your paper, highlight the material that supports one section in yellow, the other in blue, and the other in red. This makes it organized so you can see what material will apply to each section.
Outline – This step will help you get organized and will definitely prevent the worst two words a student can hear, “writer’s block.” Outlines will give you a clear idea of how the actual paper will look. They also help you realize if you have enough supporting material. For each claim you have, make sure you have the same number of supporting statements to back it up. You may choose to have three pieces of supporting material for each claim you make. Just be sure to have the same number in each section in order to prevent one section from being larger than another. During the outlining phase, you can also chose to get rid of information you do not need. You may have previously highlighted a section that you thought was important, but now you may have to omit it because it does not apply to your claim. Once you have outlined it is time to get in the zone.
Get in the zone – This is the step in which you do everything you need to do in order to get to work. If you have an annoying roommate, tell him or her that you have an important paper to get done and that he or she needs to be quiet. Another way to get in the zone is to have some sort of refreshment before you start. Have a beverage such as coffee or water, and a sugary snack in order to give you some energy. You can also plan what you would like to complete every hour. You could say that you will work on one section during the first hour, the second section after, and so on. Keeping track of time is very essential during this period so be aware of what time it is. Also, one other thing you could do is lock your door. This will prevent you from wandering out of the room to waste time, and will prevent others form coming in to bother you. You could even lock out your roommate, but you didn’t hear that from me!
Write – Once you are in the zone, it is time to write your paper. Keep your outline in view so you can always refer to it when you are writing. Remember to balance your own material with supporting material. Also remember to give credit to your sources. Your professor will tell you what format to use when you are citing sources. The common formats are APA and MLA. There are style guides available online in order to help you with your citations. You must have in-text citations and also a list of references at the end of the paper. Also, make sure that each section in your paper is about the same length. This will make it very easy on the reader, which could help your grade. Also, be aware of the number of pages you have. Your professor usually gives you a page limit so be aware of the number of pages you typed. This will prevent you from being penalized for too much or too little material.
Well that is all the advice in order to complete your paper in a very short time period. The key is to make an outline which will make your typing session move quickly. It is a pain when a writer does not know what to write, but an outline will always give you an idea of what comes next. Remember it is always much easier when you separate these tasks over a course of days or even weeks. If necessary, a paper can be done in one night. Good luck!