The most important part of any college paper is the thesis statement. A thesis statement is one or two sentences that tells the reader what point your paper is making or what you are arguing. In essence, a thesis statement is what your college paper is going to be about. The first step in forming a legitimate thesis statement is to determine the kind of paper you are writing. The most common college essays you will be asked to write are analytical, explanatory and argumentative.

Types of Papers

The analytical paper takes an issue or concept and breaks it down into parts by evaluating it in depth. The writer will then present each part of the concept to the target audience. An explanatory paper is a much broader form of writing that simply explains something to the target audience in a comprehensive manner. An argumentative paper is more complex than the previous two because it needs to make an argument or claim that is original to the particular field of study. Whether you are writing a history paper or a psychology thesis, you need to base your argument on reputable primary and secondary sources.

Forming a Bibliography

Creating a bibliography seems like an easy task but it can get complicated if you are not organized. Here are some tips to make this task easy. Make sure you understand all of the professor’s formatting requirements; they are usually located in the syllabus. Now that you know the formatting requirements, you need to alphabetize the sources by the author’s last name. This is a universal practice regardless of what you are writing about. After you have found your sources and created your bibliography citations, you should make short annotations after each in order to evaluate the source. The information in the annotations includes if it is a primary or secondary source, the thesis statement of the writer with some of the main points of argument and finally, why the source is important to your research. This will help you throughout the writing process because you can locate specific sources simply by reading the short annotations. Please remember to delete the annotations from your bibliography before turning in your paper because they are rarely a requirement for papers.

Start Writing

You are now ready to begin the writing process. It is important to stay organized because you will have limited time to write your papers. Pay attention to even the smallest of details like punctuation and grammar but not at the expense of sticking to your main argument or thesis. If you stay organized, you will leave yourself enough time to proofread your essay. Proofreading your essay is important because everyone makes mistakes and you will be able to correct them before you turn it in. It is also important to note that your professor wants you to interact with them. So, you should make a point to find time to ask him or her any questions you might have because if you don’t, your grade could suffer.

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