Yet, when I was an English TA in college, I saw this problem all the time.Students would spend hours researching and writing a paper on a completely different topic than what the professor assigned.
Yet, when I was an English TA in college, I saw this problem all the time.
It doesn’t matter how good a paper is–if it doesn’t answer the question, it’s going to receive a bad grade.
Best case scenario, the professor is nice and lets you rewrite it, but why do all that extra work?
Often, it’s that they know their field so well that it’s easy for them to think some things are “obvious”…even when they aren’t to us non-experts.
Remember: asking for clarification because you don’t understand the assignment doesn’t make you stupid; what’s stupid is to complete the assignment without understanding it.
So, to save time, many English teachers from the eighth grade all the way up to high school (and sometimes beyond) force students to write in the five-paragraph essay format.
That later part of the thesis is known as an essay map; it prevents hapless readers from getting lost along the way because – God forbid – we don’t want to be surprised by what we find in the third paragraph.I always just made one up afterwards because I was to turn one in with the final paper.Starting in college, I developed my own outlining technique that was much more effective.Today, I’m going to share this process so that you too can write papers more quickly (without a decrease in the quality of your writing). Don’t be afraid to ask the professor to explain any part of the assignment that’s unclear.If the assignment seems vague, it’s not because the professor is trying to trip you up.The goal of your initial research session is to give you just enough material to start writing.Get into the library or database, find your sources, take your notes, and then get to writing.“It’s impossible to figure out every detail of your argument before you sit down, look at your sources, and actually try to write.Once you understand the assignment, you need to start researching. If you’re not careful, research can be one of the best ways to procrastinate.“One more source” can easily turn into hours that you could have been writing.In conclusion, all cookie-cutter paragraphs end by restating the same idea expressed in the topic sentence, and in this case I am required to inform you that five-paragraph essays burden the writer with… Even as someone who basically writes papers for a living these days (like this article), I still viewed every college paper with a tinge of dread.