Remember that writing takes time—often longer than you think it will.
Now that you are ready to start writing make sure to look back at your assignment and make sure you understand:
Take the time to craft your thesis statement. This statement will guide your entire paper.
Creating an outline is a great way to organize your ideas and begin the process of fleshing out your argument. This is also a great way to jump-start your writing—a detailed outline will help the paper practically write itself.
There are lots of approaches to the writing process. It is 100% ok to write in bits and pieces; there is no reason why you have to write the introduction first or the conclusion last.
Make sure that you take the time to revise and proofread your paper; don't lose points on your paper just because you wrote "loose" instead of "lose". Look at the organization of your paper too, not just the grammar and spelling. Is there a paragraph that really belongs in a different order to make your argument flow more naturally?
There are lots of reasons why we include citations, some of them include:
The format for a citation is a little bit different depending on which style (MLA, APA, and Chicago are some of the most popular styles), but all citation styles include similar information:
This is where you need to know what style your professor wants you to use. In the left hand column are links to the different styles in the Citation Help research guide. And there is a sample article citation for MLA, Chicago, and APA below (color coded, so you can see where each piece belongs):
Underwood, Emily, Jennifer Nace, and Joseph Chmura. "The Dog Really Did Eat My Homework." Journal of Common Excuses, vol. 13, no. 2, 2015, pg 12-18. Academic Search Premier, commonexcuses.org/vol13/no2/dog_ate_homework.
1. Emily Underwood, Jennifer Nace, and Joseph Chmura, "The Dog Really Did Eat My Homework," Journal of Common Excuses, 13, no. 2, (2015): 14, commonexcuses.org/vol13/no2/dog_ate_homework.
Underwood, E., Nace, J., & Chmura, J. (2015). The dog really did eat my homework. Journal of Common Excuses, 13(2), 12-18. Retrieved from commonexcuses.org/vol13/no2/dog_ate_homework
It's important to avoid using too many direct quotes in your paper. Paraphrasing (restating someone else's idea in your own words) is a great alternative. Always cite in-text something that you paraphrased--the idea still belongs to someone else. If you want more information (and practice) about paraphrasing, check the Purdue OWL.