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Writing College Papers: Home

This guide helps students write effective college papers, essay exams, and paragraphs. It was produced in fulfillment of a Designs for Learning grant at Anne Arundel Community College by Professor Paul Gabriel-Tucci and Professor Janice Lathrop.

Help Is Available

Anne Arundel Community College offers free writing help to students who are enrolled in classes, through The Writing Center and through

Need help citing your sources correctly?  Check the site at the Owl at Purdue or the AACC Citation Guide for help.

These sources will not write your papers for you or proofread your work, but they do offer invaluable assistance.

Writing an Essay Exam?

Writing a Multi-Page Paper?

Writing a Lab Report?

Be Concise.

Know your audience.


Don't hide the results.

Write an abstract.

Always check with your professor to be sure your lab report will meet his or her expectations.

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Get More Information

The Tabs above may be used to navigate to particular steps listed below.

Refer to the boxes on the left side of each page for tips specific to writing paragraphs, essays, multi-page papers or lab reports.

Contents List

Step #1: Know Help Is Available. 

Be aware that students enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College can use the college’s Writing Center and

Step #2: Know What You Are Being Asked to Do.

Read or reread the assignment to make sure that you are doing what is required.

Step #3: Plan Out the Steps; Budget Your Time.

Include time to do the reading or research required; include time to draft, to rethink and add material, to properly document sources, and to proofread your work.

Step #4: Get Ideas from Appropriate Sources.

Reread the assignment to make sure you are getting the facts from the sources required for the assignment.  Are you to use your textbook, handouts, class notes or the Library?  Budget time to do the reading or research.

Step #5: Outline Your Paper.

Know your paper’s main point.  Know each support paragraph’s main point.

Step #6: Draft the Body of Your Paper.

Add facts to support each of your support paragraphs. 

Step #7: Draft the Introduction and Conclusion.

Add these elements once the main point of your paper and the body of your paper are drafted.

Step #8: Double-check Your Paper’s Organization.

Make sure the paragraphs all support your paper’s main point.

Step #9: Double-check Your Support.

Reread your paper’s main point and support paragraphs to see if any additional facts are needed to help your paper.

Step #10: Double-check Your Summaries and Quotations.

Reread your paragraphs to make sure facts used from sources support each paragraph’s main point and that there are enough facts.

Step #11: Double-check Your Documentation (to Avoid Plagiarism).

Remember to use the documentation system required by your class: APA, MLA, ASA, other.  Remember to document summaries and quotations in the body of the paragraphs and at the end of the paper on the works cited page.

Step #12: Double-check Your Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation.

Use human eyes, not just computer spell-checkers and grammar-checkers to look for errors that need corrected.

Writing in College

Follow this link for great tips on making the transition from high school to college level writing from the University of Chicago.


Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography