Need Help Writing Paper
It doesn’t matter how good a paper is–if it doesn’t answer the question, it’s going to receive a bad grade.Best case scenario, the professor is nice and lets you rewrite it, but why do all that extra work?After all, writing a paper isn’t like working math problems or reading a chapter of a book.As frustrating as those activities can be, they always seemed more finite than the monumental task of “writing a paper.” You can’t just open the book and start working: you have to brainstorm, research, outline, draft, edit, and add those pesky citations.In Cal’s words, the flat outline works as follows: Isn’t this so much better?The flat outline works because it mirrors the writing process.Furthermore, asking the professor for clarification shows initiative–that you care about the assignment.Demonstrating this level of engagement with your assignments can only boost your grade.
Spending any more time than this puts you at a point of diminishing returns. If you find that you need more info after you start writing, you can always do more research.
The flat outline gives you just enough structure to overcome the dreaded “blank canvas” while still leaving room for discovery.
Okay, so you have a rock solid understanding of the topic, you’ve done your research, and your flat outline is ready. But not so fast: where you write makes a difference.
Most students abandon their hierarchical outline soon after their fingers hit the keyboard.”– Cal Newport, “How to Use a Flat Outline to Write Outstanding Papers, Fast”Ever since I learned the traditional method of outlining papers in 8th grade, I felt the system was broken.
I never created an outline with bullets and numbers and letters before writing the paper.