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Paper writing tips?

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With the semester drawing to a close, a majority of my classes are starting to wrap and have laid out the guidelines for the final assignments. As a History major taking all History classes this semester, that means a metric ton of papers to write. Within the next three weeks, I have:

1) A 1,250 word paper on Hurricane Katrina due Thursday.
2) A 3 page paper on the Tale of Kieu due Friday.
3) A 2,000-2,500 word paper on the process of the United States Supreme Court functions in the 20th century due next Monday.
4) A 2,000-2,500 word paper on the general do's and don'ts of writing from a historical perspective due on the 15th.
5) A 2,500-3,000 word paper on international law and unilateralism due on the 15th.

Needless to say, this is A LOT of writing I need to get done in a short amount of time, around 35 pages worth overall. So it's apparent that I need to have a good grasp on what to write.

...the issue is that there are certain areas that I have conflicts with when I write a paper. I know the material and content I need to complete the paper requirements, for sure, but this often leads me to finishing the paper with ten minutes left on the clock, with a good quarter to a third of the paper being padding and filler. This is something I want to avoid this time, as time I spend on writing and cramming one paper could have been used to complete the next paper. I spend a good 90 minutes trying to figure out how to start and write the first paragraph of the damn paper, so it's imperative that I do something about it.

Does anyone have any particular writing techniques that they employ when writing? A specific style in starting a report? A certain style to prevent repeating words and adding in pointless filler? Any exercises that they use to help get focused on the paper, or a specific section? I'm all ears.

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  1. Aviator Zero's Avatar
    Try to let your fingers fly across the keyboard. Start with whatever you know about the subject and go on about your knowledge of it. The point is to be on a roll and let your natural writing skills provide you with substance. Let your thoughts pour out and out until you've exhausted them. Then look over what you wrote and find places to put in the actual research, while editing and improving your raw thoughts. This technique works often for me when I'm stuck, which often happens on research papers. One thing that hardly ever works for me is to look at the research first and then right about it. That stimulus of foreign thought seems to prevent one's own from emerging.
    Hope it helps. Good luck.


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