Expert tips from a former teaching assistant and part-time professor on writing an ‘A’ paper
In your year that is first of or college, you could start to believe that “A” papers are a little like unicorns. Do they even exist? I remember feeling so angry and frustrated during first year; I had been an student that is“A through high school but suddenly, I couldn’t score higher than a B+ on any of my written work. What had changed? How can I crack the code?
Now, after a PhD in English and several years of experience grading undergraduate and college papers, I’m here to share with you all of the things I wish I knew whenever I was starting out.
First, you should know that A’s are attainable—just rare. Some departments have recommended (or even set-in-stone) grade averages: which means the average mark for a certain course needs to be, by way of example, a 70. Even without those institutional guidelines or restrictions, A-level grades are supposed to be reserved for a minority that is small of that go above and beyond with regards to of content and execution. In a course of 50, the average professor or teaching assistant will probably award 5 A-range grades, with the majority of those being A minuses and very few (or simply zero) As or A-pluses.
So, while I can’t promise why these tips will guarantee an A grade, I can assure you that if you follow these steps, your marks will materially improve.
Proceed with the instructions
This sounds dumb, but you will be surprised at how many students do poorly (and on occasion even fail) since they simply do not follow directions. This really is even more crucial at the college level, where professors often grade assignments in accordance with rubrics that are strict. If the paper should be cited in a certain style, use that style; if it requires that you analyze two texts, don’t analyze just one. You shall never do well on an assignment in the event that paper you submit does not abide by the rules.
Again, sounds basic, right? But this can make a huge difference to your grades. First, in the event that you attend class and therefore are an participant that is active you’ll likely have a more in-depth understanding of this course material, which is reflected within the quality of one’s work. Second, if for example the professor sees you are intent on this course, they will likely become more inclined to be generous when marking your paper. Students love to gripe about marks being subjective; it is only true to a certain extent. Most TAs and professors have relatively consistent standards of what makes a C, B, or A paper. However, the essential difference between a B and a B+ can frequently be subjective: if the professor thinks of you as a committed, hard-working student, that may 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, and even to have feedback in your outline or drafts that are early. Be polite and come prepared. Again, this will increase the quality of your work which help you to cultivate a relationship that could lead to slightly more grades that are generous.
Narrow your focus
One of the greatest mistakes that students make on papers, particularly when these are generally starting out, is that they simply try to do too much. Don’t try to write a paper that may explain or solve a huge problem. You likely can’t develop a good, convincing argument about a massive issue within a four-to-six page limit. By narrowing your focus to a manageable scope, you’ll be more prone to produce an strong paper.
A-level papers rarely start out with “since the start of time….”Believe it or perhaps not, 80 per cent of undergraduate or college papers begin in this manner. I don’t know why. These opening sentences would be the bane each and every professor’s existence. “Since the beginning of time, women and men have struggled to obtain along.” Well, maybe. But do you obviously have the research to back up this massive, general statement? Stay glued to specific, provable claims.
Proofread your work
Always, always leave some time to proofread your work and look your formatting. Almost every grader shall dock marks if for example the 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 buy essays online taught college writing. Some students lost a full 30 per cent of these grade this way! Don’t be that student. Proofread, show your work to someone in the Centre that is writing what you should do in order to clean things up. This really isn’t just a school that is fussy: in the professional world, individuals will judge your writing according to things like grammar and style.