Today’s job market is full of uncertainty, leaving many students confused when it comes to choosing what career to pursue and which courses to study.

Regardless of your choice, having a solid set of writing skills can not only boost your grades, but also make you attractive to a wider range of employers who expect written communication abilities no matter your degree.

writing skillsQuestia (www.questia.com), the premier online research tool for students, provides key tips for students looking to improve their paper writing skills. 

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Brainstorming

Writing an impressive research paper is easier when you have a genuine interest in the subject matter. Choose a topic that you’re passionate about and would love to learn about in greater depth.

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Narrowing  Your Focus

A broad topic tends to be as difficult for the reader to follow as it is for the writer to write. Once you begin developing a topic, narrow your focus and develop a clear, precise thesis statement that presents a strong argument.

With that in mind, keep it simple! Just because the focus is narrow doesn’t mean it has to be so detailed that it is difficult to understand.

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Not Skimping on the Sources

Make sure your professor knows that you researched your project thoroughly and have an understanding of your topic by using trustworthy, relevant sources.

The Questia library is a great resource for researching and supporting claims within your paper. Remember to also integrate the citations into the text itself.

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Staying Organized

A great research paper requires extensive organization. Save all your notes in a special binder to house your materials until you’ve received a final grade.

To make organization simple, Questia’s personal workspace allows users to store sources in personalized files, highlight text and make notes in the margins, and even automatically create citations and bibliographies.

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Editing

In addition to reviewing your own paper throughout the writing process, have a friend or classmate read it over as well.

They may catch spelling or grammatical errors you’ve missed and can give you honest feedback on how well you developed your argument.Additionally, TAs are more than happy to review first and even second drafts of your paper—don’t feel like the first time they view it should be the final draft.

They are there to coach you through the process and help you improve your writing skills.

  • Develop Essential Writing Skills by Not Forgetting the Finishing Touches

Writing a research paper can be a grueling process, and once you’re finished, the only thing on your mind is turning it in quickly.

Check if your professor provided specific guidelines on format or presentation such as required binding or a cover page, and don’t forget to add the basics like your name, class, date and a staple!

Questia saves students valuable time on research papers and projects. With Questia, students can accurately cite sources in seven different styles and organize their notes, research and sources all in one place.

Librarians have specially selected Questia’s 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles—many of which are peer-reviewed.

Since Questia is accessible 24/7, students can research any time of day from anywhere, with the confidence that they’re using credible content from trustworthy sources.


Pat WymanPat Wyman is the best selling author of  Instant Learning for Amazing GradesLearning vs. Testing, CEO and founder of HowToLearn.com and the creator of the Personal Learning Styles Inventory.

Wyman suggests that you visit www.Questia.com for more information on developing writing skills for research papers.

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