8 Ways To Survive Writing An 8-Page Paper

8 Ways To Survive Writing An 8-Page Paper

Your worst nightmare...

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I realize that many of you have to deal with papers a lot longer than this, but eight-page papers still stink! I've only had to do one eight-page paper so far in my academic career, but now I'll have to do three this semester. Going through this process, I've picked up a few tips that have helped me along the way. These tips are fairly basic, so they could work for longer or shorter papers. You guys can adjust them however you need. Keep in mind that this is what helps me. Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to academics, and writing papers is no different. I hope these tips help or at least inspire you to find some for yourself.

Without further ado, here are some ways to survive an eight-page paper:

1. Give yourself time.

Time? What is that? No one has time anymore! Although this is true, it's also true that you'll need some time to prepare. This can be however long you like - even an extra day can be helpful. What matters is that you don't do it all the night before. For most people, the stress is just gonna take over, and you'll just write a bunch of nonsense. If you work well the night before, then try to start on it earlier in the day than midnight. You still need your sleep.

I like to try to start planning a week or two in advance, depending on the length and subject matter of the paper. This gives me time to really think about my topic and how I want to approach it.

2. Plan it out.

You could make an outline, a flow chart, or anything you want to help you organize your thoughts. Even if you're writing your paper the night before, you can do this step and see a difference in the clarity of how you write. It may even save you some time writing in the long run. The more you have planned out ahead of time, the less time it'll take to actually write the thing. You may even want to make multiple outlines if you're feeling organizational.

What about the people who write best when they just go for it and start writing? That can work for some people, but you still need to watch your organization. This will increase the time you'll need to spend editing, so try making markers on your paragraphs to indicate what their topic is. This'll make it easier to identify them as you're editing. You can move them around, add some more, or delete ones you don't need.

3. Talk to your professor.

I don't usually ask my professors for help (which is stupid, btw - professors want to help their students), but I decided I'd give it a try this time. I can't believe how much it helped! I felt more confident in what I was doing and got some good ideas from my professor. It also helped just to talk about my thoughts and to try to organize them and explain them. Your professors have office hours for this specific reason!

4. Write a rough draft.

This probably isn't the kind of thing you can do the night before, but it is something that'll help you out. The more solid your rough draft is, the less you'll have to do later. If you planned it out and kept yourself organized, you should have a pretty decent idea of where you're going.

One thing I've found helpful with rough drafts is color coding the sentences (topic sentences are red, support is green, etc.). This may seem a bit extra, so feel free not to take up this tip if it doesn't help, but I'd suggest giving it a try. It'll help you stay organized (if you couldn't tell, that's a pretty important thing for a paper). You can see which paragraphs need more support or need a better transitional statement.

5. Create a second outline.

For those of you who hate outlines, I apologize for mentioning them again. What I've found helpful is creating a second outline alongside making my rough draft. If you decided to mark your paragraphs, having an outline will help you figure out which paragraph is which. You'll be able to move things around and adjust them easier.

6. Step away.

Again, this isn't the kind of thing you can do the night before. You'll need at least a day to do this, maybe more, depending on how much time you gave yourself. Stepping away and coming back with a fresh pair of eyes will help you see the mistakes you may have made while you were typing your paper at two in the morning. It'll be as if someone else were reading your paper - you'll have a more objective view.

7. Critique and edit.

I would suggest editing your paper some before you turn it in for critique, but no matter what, TURN YOUR PAPER IN FOR CRITIQUE. Even if you've stepped away and come back with fresh eyes, you're still going to be biased enough to not understand what your professor won't understand. If there are critiquing programs at your school, give them a try. I know I definitely wish I'd done that for my past papers.

8. Use as much time as you need.

There are benefits to turning your stuff in early. If something goes wrong, you'll still have time to fix it. Yes, be sure to submit your paper before 11:58 p.m. What this tip is saying is that you shouldn't worry about turning it in days before it's due if you need more time to work on it. You can turn it in early if you have a whole bunch of other stuff to do and need to get this one thing done, but if you have the time, use it for editing or getting more critiques on your paper or asking your professor a few more questions. Even if you're sick and tired of this paper, do your absolute best on it!

I don't even follow all of these tips all the time, but the ones I do follow help me a lot. I encourage you to try finding your own methods for writing papers. It's something you gotta do, so you might as well do it well.

Good luck!

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21 Lies College Students Tell Their Parents

I can almost guarantee that you have used at least five of these.

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Let's be honest. College is the best time of your life for a lot of reasons, and maybe you should not tell your mom all of them when she calls. I can almost guarantee that you have used at least five of these, and the others — maybe you should try next time!

1. "I can't talk now, I'm in the library."

Typically used when the student is too hungover to talk.

2. "Gotta go now, I'm walking into class."

Then hit play on Netflix.

3. "I think it might be food poisoning."

Was it the food, or all of that alcohol? Your symptoms sound more like a hangover to me.

4. "No, I didn't just wake up."

It is 4 p.m. and, yes, you did.

5. "I need more money for laundry and food."

Meaning, "I need more money for things I don't think you will give me money for."

6. "I never skip class!"

When we use this one, it usually does not refer to anything before 11 a.m.

7. "I studied all night for that test!"

If by "studied all night" you mean you watched TV shows in the library, then, yes, all night.

8. "Everyone failed that test."

And by everyone, I mean me and my friend who did not go to sleep until 3 a.m.

9. "I'm walking home from breakfast with my friends."

Yeah, OK. You are just lucky she cannot see last night's outfit and the high heels you are carrying. We know where you have been.

10. "Potbelly's is a restaurant."

I mean, they may sell tacos, but I'm not sure I would call it a restaurant.

11. "I go to Cantina's for the Nachos."

I hope that is not the only reason but, hey, you do you.

12. "The $40 charge on the card from last Saturday? That was for school supplies!"

Yeah, right. It was for a new dress.

13. "Nobody goes out on weeknights, especially not me."

We all know grades come first, right?

14. "I can't remember the last time I went out!"

Literally.

15. "I make my bed regularly"

About as often as I clean the bathroom.

16. "I did not say 'Margarita Monday,' I said I went to 'Margaret's on Monday'!"

Following the use of this lie, do not post any pictures on social media of you with a margarita.

17. "I use my meal plan, and eat in the dining hall all the time."

As you scarf down Chick-fil-A.

18. "I eat healthy!"

For those without a meal plan who have to grocery shop on their own, we all know you spend $2 on a 12-pack of Ramen noodles and the rest on a different kind of 12-pack.

19. "No, I don't have a fake ID."

OK, "John Smith," and where exactly in Wyoming are you from?

20. "I'm doing great in all of my classes."

We use this one because you cannot see our grades online, anymore.

21. "I did not wait until the last minute to start on this."

We all know that if you start a paper before 10 p.m. the night before it is due, you are doing something wrong.

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If My Daughter Ends Up Joining A Sorority, Well, Good Luck Charlie

If my future daughter does end up reading this, I hope you know I will always support you.

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If I ever have a child, I will support them with whatever their passion is. I will be there cheering for them whether it be in the stands of a high school sporting event, or just cheering them on at home as they crush their mountain of homework.

Spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to rush. At the time, I had a small group of friends but wanted to expand my circle. I tried joining a few clubs my first semester, but I was really isolating myself in my dorm room to study and occasionally getting something to eat. I craved more, and going out for spring recruitment seemed like the perfect opportunity to force myself to make friends.

If you knew me back in high school, I was so against the concept of Greek life. My mother was in a sorority when she was in college, and it just never appealed to me. I never had the pressure to become a legacy, or that it was something every college girl had to do as a way to get boys. I didn't like the idea of conformity or paying for friends essentially. It just wasn't how I picked my college experience.

After receiving my bid though, I call what I entered the honeymoon phase. Everything seemed perfect. From the moment I walked into the bid day celebration, I felt like I made the right decision. I dreamed of maybe being on the executive board and making a huge difference for my campus's Greek community. All the girls I would call my "sisters" were just warm and welcoming, and I felt like I had found my place. I was just over the moon. I even was so "in love" that I ended up writing a handful of articles about the perks of Greek life.

And I am not here saying the whole experience was bad. Everyone has different experiences and every chapter is different. You really do get what you put into it. I ended up with an amazing big and little to match. Those two are actually like sisters to me, and I couldn't imagine my life without them. I also gained the most amazing friends who constantly support me despite being an alumna of my sorority now. There are benefits to Greek life, trust me.

However, there is a dark side to Greek life nobody mentions. You will fall out of that honeymoon phase, falling out of love with your sorority. You may even question why you joined in the first place. I know I do sometimes. At least for me, I was pressured into fitting into an image, one where I was meant to be happy all the time. I was even confronted by a few sisters who spread rumors about me because they mistook my anxiety and started to spread rumors I was gossiping even if I was just expressing my frustration with someone standing in front of me.

There was a period of my life where I just wasn't okay. A few people I let into that chaotic period of my life and some of them were my sisters and people I was told to "trust." Yet, some of these people didn't have my full trust. They told me I needed to learn to control my anxiety better without asking me what was bothering me. They didn't take the time to find out that I was struggling with a shooting back home that just rocked my world. I was anxious because I constantly worried about myself, my parents, and people back home. I lost motivation in school. I couldn't sleep. And somehow, I was still the bad guy because I wasn't happy all the time. Someone at my school's tech center saw me upset and believed I was spreading rumors, which is so far from the truth.

My experience with Greek life was far from picture perfect at the end of my journey in my sorority. There are times I still question why I convinced myself to sign up for recruitment, but there are days I am thankful for at least the experience because of the people it brought into my life.

If my future daughter does end up reading this, I hope you know I will always support you. However, it is important to realize that despite all the positives a situation may have, there can also be negatives. Not everything in life will end up being picture perfect. Whatever you choose to do, I will be your shoulder to cry on or your best friend to share the joy with you.

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