If you take the following steps after you finish writing, however, you can potentially turn a mediocre paper into a great one.
- Proofread. If you haven’t proofread your finished paper, you can almost guarantee that there are at least one or two errors—whether they’re grammatical errors, unclear sentences or even typos, your professor will most likely catch these mistakes and attribute them to carelessness. Even better, have a friend or mentor proofread your paper to catch errors you may have missed.
- Highlight your main argument, thesis statement or hypothesis. Can’t find it? Go back and add a sentence or two clearly articulating the primary argument you’ll be making in your paper. Then, highlight the topic sentences and main points of each section or body paragraph. If you can’t identify your main points, your teacher won’t be able to either.
- Check for style consistency. Some professors strictly adhere to one style method, whether it’s APA Style, MLA, Chicago, etc. Double check with your professor if you aren’t sure about which to use, and then make sure that your reference notes, punctuation, and paper organization fall in line with the accepted style.
- Read over your paper and check for repeated words or phrases. Replace words that you use frequently with synonyms to make your sentences flow better. If you don’t have a thesaurus, go to http://thesaurus.com to find an alternate word.