It is essential for student writers to maintain a schedule when they are enrolled in a college/university course that involves writing. You should set aside time to research and write everyday, I know it sounds strange but it’ll help, otherwise what generally happens is commotion and drastic things happen when you’re about to submit your paper (it gets worse when it’s your dissertation/thesis!). Far too many students (and I was always one of them) finish their work the night before submission, making a mess in the presentation of the document and causing numerous ‘slip-ups’ in their written material.
Did you ever wonder why your lecturer/professor gives you assignments three months in advance? Its to give you time to pace out your research and writing, make a plan for the particular essay or report and then execute it. Successful writers always plan their schedule before starting to write; most writers do not believe in an outline before the actual writing, but an outline in the form of a list of points to cover, or in fact, a mental image of a finished paper.
Most student writers find it difficult to begin when they are writing for an assignment or a project, and for them, using an outline helps them immensely. Whatever form of outline you take, it will generally have its advantages. It helps you to keep track of what you intend to write and what you are actually writing. It helps you make sure that everything you wanted to write has been covered. Therefore, you can structure your writing material and be more open to changes you wish to make in your writing. When you have a plan at hand, you are aware of what will follow, and this will help you to write more clearly and logically.
If you think you can write an excellent paper at the first shot, then you’re wrong. It is important, especially for student writers to make a rough draft first, and then begin their final written paper. What this does is, it helps writers to actually see their mistakes and finally correct it when the final writing is being done. It lets young writers experiment with language and structure, and gives them confidence to type away, knowing they can re-structure later.
It is also important to recognise and to follow what your professor requires from you when writing your assignment paper. Remember that although every topic question can be researched, developed and written to be formed and produced as a book, what really matters is that you clearly express your ideas concisely. Do not unnecessarily write more to impress your professor and try to show everyone that you know everything about the topic, because you are more likely to make mistakes that way. Stick to what the assignment question requires of you and you will see that it will begin to be appreciated by your professors.
Revise your paper at least twice and check for errors. Every sentence should speak for itself and it should direct readers towards what you want in the end. When you’re done with your first draft, your understanding of your subject will be much greater than it was when you started writing; use this knowledge to clarify and enrich your writing. You’ll also need to proofread your paper thoroughly; this is where you will have to check your grammar and spelling errors as well as the construction of your sentences.