This week being the week before spring break has been filled with some of my teachers piling on some last minute work (teachers always pick the best timing, don't they?) At this point, I am more than ready for break. I'm excited to go home to see my friends and family and it's also to have a nice week off to chill and to not have to worry about any schoolwork. Unfortunately, it is still only Tuesday and my week is far from over since I have a test and a presentation that I have to prepare for. Luckily, I already felt somewhat of a huge weight off of my shoulders since I passed in my research paper for Digital Media today. Research papers can sometimes be dreaded once assigned but here are some tips to help make the overall process of writing one easier and less stressful :)
Give yourself enough time to work. The last thing you want to do is get all of your research for the paper the night before. I've have had my moments of procrastinating, which only leads to all-nighters and a lot of unnecessary stress. Giving yourself enough time to work will help out a lot better because you will have a better idea of what you are going to say once it is time to write the paper.
Gather the information.
This usually requires a good old trip to the Durick Library to get credible book sources. I've been here for almost full two semesters and the only things I know how to do in the library are study hard in the cubicles, print off papers, and type up papers in the computer lab. There are still a lot of things to find out in the library, so this research paper gave me a good chance to explore the book sections. Also, it never really hurts to ask anyone at the front desk for help if you don't have any idea where to start to look because they're always really helpful.
Take notes on the text. Whether you write on post it notes, notebook paper, or index cards, it always helps to take some sort of notes to organize all of your information. That way, you can have all the things you need for in text citations and the bibliography.
Use available resources around campus. Downstairs in the library, there is the writing center where many writing coaches are available to help you out if you are having any troubles with your paper. I went there last semester a lot for assistance on papers for my first year seminar, The Examined Life. I received a lot of beneficial feedback that made me feel more prepared and confident in writing my paper. Also, your teacher is another good resource because they are familiar with the subject of your paper. Teachers usually have very flexible office hours and if they aren't available the same time you are, they generally respond to e-mails quickly.