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Lara Rosales

February 18, 2020

Writing a paper can be a really stressful activity if you do not know where to begin. You can make it very simple if you narrow down the steps you should follow to achieve the word or page limit.

Throughout your college career, you will have to write more papers than you would like to think about. There are those teachers who make it easy and tell you exactly what they want to read. And there are those who give very abstract instructions making it hard for you to know where exactly to begin or what exactly to talk about. Whatever the case, writing a paper can be a really stressful activity that could end up taking more hours than you actually wished for. Here are some steps you could follow to make it a stress free homework.

Choosing a Topic

Deciding which topic to talk about will really depend on the class you are taking. The first thing you should do is pay close attention to the instructions your teacher gave you. In them, you could find that the topic has already been narrowed down for you, and you just need to do the research. In other cases, the instructions may be very open-ended and you may find yourself not knowing what to write about. In that scenario, you should choose a topic that you have recently discussed in class, and simply amplify your research to add knowledge that was not mentioned during your discussion. Your topic should always be focused on your class; that way you can almost guarantee a perfect grade, and you know you are on the right path.

Your Research

A lot of people nowadays think that just because they used Google their research will be accurate; do not be one of those people. Absolutely use Google as your first big research tool but be very careful what sources you choose. You need to make sure the websites you will be quoting are credible, and that their own sources are official. There are websites that you can use for yourself, to get a basic knowledge –like Wikipedia– but, when it comes to your paper, you need to quote the right sources. Try to use online encyclopedias, books, and dictionaries. Stay away from social sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, unless it is to exemplify something.

Highlighting the Important

When you do your research you will find a lot of information, but you need to distinguish what is important or relevant. Read all your sources multiple times; print the texts and physically highlight them if it is necessary. Start narrowing down the information that matters to the point you are trying to make, and select the quotes that will stand by your hypothesis. Do not add irrelevant information just to try and meet the minimum word or page requirement. Everybody is trying to reach that limit but I can assure you the teacher will appreciate it more if the paper is well-thought out and well-written. Focus on making yourself clear and understood.

Getting Words on Paper

Once you have followed those three steps, it will be much easier to put your words on paper. If you have the right topic, you researched it, and you highlighted the important parts, it will be much easier to sit down and write it. After all, you know what you want to talk about, and you know what you want people to take away from it. Use words that coherently get your point across rather than focusing on using words that you do not understand just to sound extra fancy. Find ways to make writing easier: handwrite it first and then type it; type the paragraphs on different Word documents; write different quotes and then connect them with your ideas; whatever works for you.


Always make sure you re-read your own words. After writing your paper, take a little time away from it so you can come back with fresh eyes. Read it over as many times as you need to before submitting it. Make sure that you have expressed everything you needed to make yourself understood. Take the time to check your grammar and your spelling. And always make sure that you are giving credit to all your sources so you stay away from plagiarism.

Writing a paper can be really stressful if you wait until the last minute, and write the first thing that comes to your mind. Give yourself enough time to think about it, research your topic, write, read, and re-write as many times as you need to. If you find yourself lost, reach out for help; you can always find writing tutors willing to read your papers and help you edit them. The important part is that you have enough research to know your topic in a way that will make it so easy for you to write about it.