A question mark

Usually, senior students have a privilege called experience. It is also a pain in the neck because they have to go through numerous challenges and make a number of mistakes to gain it. However, we live in the digital era, the era of globalization. Thus, it is easier to gather knowledge in one place and share it with other students. And that is exactly what this article is about.

Freshmen are the first ones among those who will benefit from this information. However, every student may find useful tips in this article. The secret is we didn’t simply conduct a survey among senior students. These tips are much better since they are based on the knowledge of experts from writing services.

Their experience is even more valuable since they worked with different clients and instructions and heard feedback from a number of teachers and professors. They know all the pitfalls of written assignments. So, read on to find out what professional paper and online essay writer always ask to clarify before writing a paper. Remember these questions to get better grades and save your time and effort.

“Did I Get It Right?”

Whatever you have doubts about, clarify it with your professor. Any vague instruction or topic formulation can let you down. So, just retell it to your teacher in your own words and ask them to confirm whether you got it right. Sometimes, it is just a matter of wording and concepts you are used to or not.

Do not hesitate to acknowledge that you did not get it at all. Not doing so may cost you a grade, while the opposite option will help you learn something new and earn you more points.

“What Sources Can Be Used?”

When it comes to sources you are going to base your paper on, ask all the possible questions you may come up with. Knowing the type of sources to use is a must. Some teachers question the credibility of an article if it is not peer-reviewed – crosschecked by other scholars.

If you need to write a literature review paper with a Results chapter, the latter should always contain primary articles – not books, literature reviews, or case studies. Also, the year of publication matters a lot. The general rule is to use sources published at most ten years ago, but it is always better to confirm it with your teacher directly.

“What Level of Originality Is Acceptable?”

Yes, the strict rule of not allowing even 1% of plagiarism to appear in plag reports is widespread. For instance, as you can see from the EssayPro review by EssayReviews.com, every single sentence is guaranteed to be original. However, those papers are written by professionals who have a lot of experience and are scrupulous people. Students are different, and they may struggle to follow or understand the rule correctly.

Also, there may be some ‘false plagiarism’ – the most typical word combinations used to report results or terms that must not be substituted with synonyms. There is no way of avoiding it, so many institutions and teachers do not consider it plagiarism, while a responsible student may try too hard to meet the originality criteria, thus ending up writing some gibberish.

A KM board

“What to Start With?”

Every kind of academic assignment has its specifics. Most of them require preliminary reading, but the more serious your paper is, the more stages there are to go through. For instance, sometimes, you will need to write a draft of the literature review first, then get approval and proceed with preparing the results of the research. Right, no Introduction at this point.

Also, if you are going to conduct primary research, most universities and colleges will demand from you all kinds of appendices:

  • consent form;
  • invitation letter;
  • participant information sheet;
  • ethics application form;
  • interview/questionnaire questions.

If the university committee approves these documents, only then may you start conducting the research. Those who skip this stage and go chapter by chapter, as those that appear in most papers (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion), often have to revise their writing a lot.

The thing is, they complete the first three chapters and only at that point find out that they won’t have time or resources to conduct the research as they planned it. Many students have to switch to secondary research in the end. This translates to modifying almost whole methods, research questions, limitations, and objectives. That is why your academic advisor might also recommend writing a short proposal first.

“Should It Be Primary or Secondary Research?”

You may have gotten used to retelling articles and analyzing them, and it may have worked in the past. But at some point, you will probably have to get acquainted with primary research. So, you will have to compose questionnaires, look for volunteers to participate in the survey, and so on.

One of the typical mistakes students make is that they ignore all the new words they may see in instructions and keep writing the same kind of assignments they have completed before. As a result, they submit a totally different paper from what the teacher expected and have to revise nearly 50% of their writing.

“Am I Allowed to Include First-Person Writing and Personal Experience?”

Some teachers do not mind first-person writing at all. They even ask students to be more specific and avoid writing about themselves in the third person, like ‘the researcher has collected data.’

And there are totally opposite tutors who do not tolerate sentences like “I have faced limitations when…”. This controversial point must be clarified from the very beginning so that you do not spend hours later making minor corrections, missing out on some words, and getting tangled in the mixture of ‘I, me, myself, and they.’

Personal experience is also the content some professors do not tolerate due to possible subjectivity. In addition, it is hard to verify such information. It is allowed for some high-school assignments and is less acceptable in research papers unless the author needs to write a reflection on their research process.

Summing Up

Here, we have covered the main questions you will need to ask your professor to be sure you do not waste your effort and time and get a good grade. Communication between you and your advisor is also important to avoid misunderstandings at every level of paper writing. So, do dedicate your time to all those clarifications to make your paper writing process as smooth as possible!