Reviewing the Topic
Students usually have some freedom to choose the subject of themes or reports. When you make this choice, be sure that the topic is acceptable to the teacher, and is as interesting to you as possible. Another consideration is that of availability of resource material. Your task is made much easier when there is a good amount of reference and resource material available.
Using Correct Punctuation and Grammar
As in writing essays questions, good grammar and punctuation are a must. Most students use word processors to write papers. Be sure to use the spell checker that almost all word processors have built in. Many word processors also have some sort of grammar checker. Learn to use a grammar checker, as it can point out serious flaws in your writing and help you become a better writer. Most grammar checkers explain the grammar rules that apply to the suggested corrections to your writing.
Gathering Materials Before You Write
Before you begin writing, assemble the materials you will need. Use index cards, notes, bibliographies, summaries, reports and reviews as part of your preparation process. Using index cards for references is an excellent way to organize your materials. Computer database programs can also help you classify and organize reference materials.
Preparing an Outline and Writing the Paper
Once you have your topic, have gathered and organized your materials, it is time to outline your paper. Put your outline on paper! Don't make the mistake of trying to keep everything in your head. Make your outline in the form of main headings or ideas with sub-headings fleshing out the flow of the paper. Using the outline as a guide begin writing begin by asking yourself what the paper is going to say and what conclusions you want to reach. Doing this ahead of time will help keep you focused and prevent you from straying from the purpose of the paper. Making up the outline as you go along almost always results in a less than satisfactory product. Writing is important in high school and is a key to success in college and in many professions. Become a good writer by writing, revising, and reviewing your work. Don't be afraid to ask other students to critique your work. Try to write in your own natural style, be aware that most good writers go through many revisions, and be prepared to do the same. Writing and test-taking are the end results of developing good study skills. There is no magic formula for success. If you follow the suggestions in this guide, apply them and think about them, you'll have taken a giant step toward becoming a successful student.
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