(This article was originally published in the February 2020 issue of Paper Jam)
As many of you take on your first essay, we have a few tips for you to remember. Unless otherwise instructed, most essays will be formatted according to the MLA guidelines. These guidelines can be found on the internet, on the Reading and Writing Centers Canvas Resource page, or you can come into the RWC and get help from one of our tutors.
Another thing to remember is that most instructors will not accept a Google Doc. As a college student, you need to get familiar with Microsoft Word because all instructors use Word instead of DocsUsing your student email, you have free access to Microsoft Office 365 in both the online version and the full downloadable version. For more information on how to use or download Microsoft Office, please see the RWC Canvas Resource page or ask a tutor for help.
Another helpful tip to remember is that most college papers need to be written in the academic third person unless otherwise instructed. A generalized rule on how to write in the third person is to avoid first-person and second-person pronouns, such as I, me, my, we, our, us, you, yours, and ours.
Another thing that is especially important when writing your essays is to proofread, proofread, and proofread. The majority of mistakes that students make when writing could have easily been avoided if the student had spent more time proofreading. One form of proofreading that is very helpful is to read your paper out loud to someone, and it is even better if that someone is a tutor at the RWC! We hope to see you in the RWC this semester.