The Paper and the Procrastinator: Paper Writing Tips

As the semester comes to a close and the final surge of procrastination settles in, everyone find themselves hard-pressed to finish those final papers—usually the heavy hitters, 10 pages and up—in the quickest of manners. We’ve all been there. Take a deep breath, and we’ll get through this. Here are some tips to help your paper writing go a little more smoothly.

1. Get Rid of the Distractions

paper and the procrastinator

I know it’s tough, trust me. I have so many electronic devices that I could power a small city if I combined all of their batteries. Don’t surf the internet as you’re typing your paper; do a short binge of facebooking, tweeting, tumbling, and then settle in for research-only internet access. Sit somewhere quiet; if you’re in need D’Youville has many great places to do this: the Montante Library, the DAC (now with 24-hour study hours), or even the Spartan Café a.k.a. Spot. Also, give the phone and the game controllers to a friend, someone you can trust to say no to your pleas. This also adds a bonus: the sweet return of your lovelies upon the paper’s finish. It’s all about incentive! Speaking of which……

2. Give Yourself an Incentive

paper and procrastinator

“When I finish 50% of this paper, I get to eat that final piece of cake that is mostly icing. It will be a lot easier to put forth a good deal of effort if a reward of some type hangs in the balance. Just give yourself something that’s going to light a fire in your belly, so that the paper becomes your only focus.

3. Write Up an Outline

paper and procrastinator

A simple outline template that you could use!

Ugh…gah…sigh! I know, I know, I’m sorry! An extra step? How dare I suggest such madness! Trust me, it will help you a lot more than it will hinder you. Set up your ideas, add some notes, write down the quotes you want to use (with their citations). Then it’s all there—a tree from which the sweet berries of quick and well-done paper writing can be plucked.

4. Spice it Up: Headings

paper and procrastinator

Now, mind you, this is a last resort option, but a resourceful one that often times helps with the paper’s aesthetics. If you’re stuck on that last bit, one page short of completing the assignment, break it up. Add some headings to your paragraph; not only does this add some girth to your paper, but it gives it a clear-cut indicator of what the paper is presenting!

5. Review it Later

paper and procrastinator

Don’t try and revise it in the same sitting. Not only are you adding more time to your time spent on the paper, but it’s not helping. You’re still in the same mindset; you’ve had no time to dwell on what you wrote. So, set down the paper, for at least a couple of hours. Go do something else…don’t even think about the paper! Come back to it refreshed and find what needs to be fixed.


So there you go! Five tips I can offer you to aid in your paper writing craze. I hope they help. As a D’Youville English major, I can guarantee you that they have helped me greatly over the years. How about you? Do you have any tips that help you to write those lengthy papers? Comment below with your suggestions!

About the author


Major: English
Where I'm From: Eastern Pennsylvania
When I graduate: I, ideally, hope to publish a novel or collection of short stories, but I'd also like to delve into the process of editing/publishing, too.

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