Finalizing a Term Paper: 10 Helpful Prompts
Here are 10 helpful ideas that will help you get ready to turn in your paper:
Did you plagiarize:
Nothing is worse than working on a paper for weeks on end and then receiving it back with a big F because you forgot to cite something and then get in trouble with the university. Always go back through the paper and make sure you cited everything so you do not get blamed for using someone else’s work that is not your own without citation. Your instructor may require you to use a program called turnitin.com. Use tis resource in order to make sure that you do not get trouble.
Is there grammatical errors:
A lot of instructors will have a certain amount of points allotted towards correct grammar usage. When editing and revising your paper, be on the lookout for those types of errors as they may cost you points that could or could not break your grade at the end of the semester.
Did you include all necessary information:
When writing a paper, especially in a sleep deprivation, you could have forgotten to put a cited source in, or you could have forgotten to put the thesis in when you meant to go back and do it later on. Once you have the paper done, sit on a couple of days and then go back through the paper and see what is missing. You may have to go back through and do some more research.
Did you follow the instructions:
This may seem simple, but often times, students forgot that they needed to do citations in APA style or MLA and either did a combination of the two or did the wrong one entirely; they completely forgot they needed one more source. Either way, look back through the requirements for the paper and make sure that you have everything that is required in order to get the grade that you want.
Is there a beginning, middle, and end:
This applies mostly to shorter assignments, though research papers have had it done. Check to make sure that there is the introduction (beginning), three or more paragraphs for the body (middle) and that there is a conclusion (end).
Did you include all the documents that you worked on:
Some instructors might not require it, but others do. Make sure that you have all of the documents required for the paper. That will include all the pre writing that you did, your rough draft, your edited version, as well as a clean copy and possibly even copies of the sources that you used.
Is your paper focused:
A lot of students fall victim in this category because they think that their paper is focused, only to get it back and find out the instructor was not pleased because the anecdote at the beginning had nothing to do with the paper, or the thesis was weak. When editing and revising, go through ach sentence and ask the purpose of it being there. Also see if there is a clear and concise point to your paper that is recognizable.
Did you start early or did you procrastinate:
Starting early can make the difference in not only grades, but the quality of work. Professors can always tell when someone has started their paper early and who decided to wait five minutes before class to try and do it. Always start it early, there is no harm in that.
Did you follow the writing process:
It is usually required for students to follow the writing process, make sure that it is edited by someone else and then clean copied. If you did not follow the process, go back through and see what you missed.
Did you include the title page and bibliography:
All too often students forget that they needed to include a title page and reference page. You do not want your instructor thinking that you plagiarized or did not care about the assignment. This may seem simple, but always turn in a title page and reference page.