Tips and Tricks Series: Planning your Paper – Part 1

Written by Madeline Grove, Senior Writing and Language Consultant at the Student Learning Hub

Having difficulty starting an essay? A solid plan will save loads of time and energy by keeping you from getting sidetracked or doing a bunch of edits later. Here are some handy tips from the Student Learning Hub (SLH) to help you map out your paper with confidence:

Understand the Assignment:

Don’t just glance through the instructions – read them actively. Highlight the important stuff, take notes, and circle anything you don’t get. Look out for task words like ‘analyze’ or ‘compare’; they show you exactly what you’re expected to do. To ensure you are hitting all the right points, make a checklist based on the assignment instructions.

Plan your Time:

Save yourself from late-night stress by creating a schedule you can stick to. UBC’s Assignment Calculator or RMIT University’s Assignment Planner are handy tools to get started.

Ask for Help:

Whether you are in Psychology or Art History, if you are having issues with where and how to research, your subject librarian is ready to guide you. Don’t hesitate to set up an appointment!

Having difficulty brainstorming ideas? Want support creating an outline? Connect with a Writing Consultant at the SLH. They are here to help you navigate the confusing world of academic writing.

Check out part two for more paper planning tips and tricks!