Expert tips from an old teaching assistant and part-time professor on writing an ‘A’ paper
In your first year of university or college, you could begin to feel that “A” papers are a bit like unicorns. Do they even exist? I remember feeling so angry and frustrated during first year; I experienced been an “A” student all through twelfth grade but suddenly, i really couldn’t score greater than a B+ on any of my written work. What had changed? How could I crack the code?
Now, after a PhD in English and many years of experience grading undergraduate and college papers, I’m here to tell you most of the plain things i wish I knew when I was starting out.
First, you have to know that A’s are attainable—just rare. Some departments have recommended (if not set-in-stone) grade averages: which means the mark that is average a certain course has to be, for instance, a 70. Even without those institutional guidelines or restrictions, A-level grades are supposed to be reserved for a small minority of papers that go above and beyond in terms of content and execution. In a course of 50, the professor that is average teaching assistant will probably award 5 A-range grades, with nearly all of those being A minuses and very few (or simply zero) As or A-pluses.
So, that if you follow these steps, your marks will materially improve while I can’t promise that these tips will guarantee an A grade, I can assure you.
Follow the instructions
This sounds dumb, but you would be surprised at how students that are many poorly (or even fail) since they simply usually do not follow directions. This might be even more crucial in the college level, where professors often grade assignments based on rubrics that are strict. If the paper has to be cited in a specific style, use that style; if it needs which you analyze two texts, don’t analyze only 1. You will never do well on an assignment in the event that paper you submit does not stick to the principles.
Again, sounds basic, right? But this may make a huge difference to your grades. First, if you attend class and are usually an active participant, you’ll likely have a far more in-depth understanding regarding the course material, which will be reflected within the quality of your work. Second, in the event the professor sees they will likely be more inclined to be generous when marking your paper that you are serious about the course. Students want to gripe about marks being subjective; this is only true to a extent that is certain. Most TAs and professors have relatively consistent standards of what makes a C, B, or A paper. However, the difference between a B and a B+ can frequently be subjective: if the professor thinks about you as a committed, hard-working student, that could push your grade up a few points.
Go to office hours
Don’t be shy! Your professor or TA generally is being paid that will help you during these full hours, so make use of your resources. Drop by during office hours to ask questions about course materials and assignments, as well as to obtain feedback on the outline or drafts that are early. Be polite and come prepared. Again, this may enhance the quality of one’s work which help one to cultivate a relationship which could lead to slightly more generous grades.
Narrow your focus
One of the greatest mistakes that students make on papers, particularly when these are generally starting out, is that they simply attempt to do too much. Don’t attempt to write a paper which will explain or solve a problem that is huge. You likely can’t develop a stronger, convincing argument about a huge issue within a four-to-six page limit. By narrowing your focus to a manageable scope, you’ll be more likely to produce an strong paper.
A-level papers rarely start off with “since the start of time….”Believe it buy essays online or perhaps not, 80 per cent of undergraduate or college papers begin this way. I don’t know why. These opening sentences are the bane of any existence that is professor’s. “Since the start of time, gents and ladies have struggled to get along.” Well, maybe. But would you really have the study to back up this massive, general statement? Adhere to specific, provable claims.
Proofread your work
Always, always leave some time for you to proofread your projects and check your formatting. Almost every grader will dock marks if your tasks are difficult to understand or if perhaps it doesn’t follow your department’s standards. Again, this can be even stricter in college. I graded according to departmental rubrics that deducted 1 point per grammar error, up to 15 per cent, and 1 point per formatting error, up to 15 per cent when I taught college writing. Some students lost the full 30 per cent of the grade in this way! Don’t be that student. Proofread, show your work to someone during the Centre that is writing what you should do in order to clean things up. This is certainlyn’t just a school that is fussy: when you look at the professional world, people will judge your writing centered on things like grammar and style.