After being a college writing tutor for over a year, I thought I would share my advice with all you awesome people on tumblr. This is how I write essays, but if you’ve got more tips, feel free to add them below.
Happy writing. You can do it!
This is actually brilliant.
I want to add my little nugget of knowledge to this awesome slide!
If you are stumped about writing the body paragraphs do this:
Know ahead of time what paper format to use (MLA, AMA?)
Do a bunch of research first. Find a bunch of articles, read them, highlight them, pick out good solid quotes and statistics. Star the ones you like the best. Have more research than you need.
If it’s a short paper, figure out 3 supporting points you want to make. If it’s long, figure out 5+. Say you are arguing that boxer briefs are better than both boxers and briefs in a short paper. Your first supporting point might be that they hold junk in place more securely than boxer. Your second point might be that they look cooler than briefs. Your third point might be that they fit better under clothing. List those out as brief blurbs, in outline format.
Then figure out 3 supporting pieces of evidence for each point you have made. Put these supporting bits of evidence into the outline, underneath the corresponding blurb. So if you have a quote from Joe Schmoe saying “My boyfriend thinks my ass looks better in boxer briefs” then you would plug that under “they look cooler.”
This is the point at which I usually like to start figuring out what sources I am going to use officially. And while doing that, start working on in text citations. If you quote the statistic “999% of people saw increased longevity of sexual performance after wearing boxer briefs for 3 hours” and the source is “Blahbity blah boxer briefs rock blah” by Jane Doe, then do the the citation next to the quote in your outline. This saves having to go back and do it.
You should have an outline that is full of quotes, citations, and the general structure of your paper at this point. (You can also break each supporting fact down even further and jot down what points you want to make about the quote and how you want to draw connections to it with other stuff in the paper)
Take a look at your intro and your closing and you might want to flesh some stuff in here. I find it easiest to do it while the outline is still minimal because I can look and easily say “ok in this paper imma tell you about how boxer briefs are bomb diggity because blah blah and blah”
This is the fun part. Just fill in around all of that information with words. Put the meat on those bones. Make it nice and wordy. A good way to do this is to intro quotes and stuff by saying “Dr. Carl Underpantsman, the head of the boxer-cology department at Yale, explained in his article ‘Boxer Briefs and the Modern Dude’ that boxer briefs are essential to being a “dude not a dud” in this modern day and age.” Boom that was like so many words.
But of course don’t forget to talk about quotes and statistics in the context of each other; the real part of writing the paper is stringing together all these little tidbits of information so they work together to make your point.
Like seriously friends, all this stuff works. I recently wrote a nearly 1500 word essay (that was supposed to be 750) because I was so thorough with my research and materials. And the whole thing took me maybe a few days of working on it on and off to do because I used this outline method.