Tips for Understanding Professor Expectations for Research Papers

To write a good research paper, you must understand what your professor is asking for. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are clear on all of the instructions. You should make sure that you are clear before starting so that you are doing it right from the start.


Get Clarification Early


If you are confused about any aspects of your paper, get clarification right away. If you wait until the last minute you risk missing the deadline for your paper. If you are not finished by the deadline, your grade can suffer. Send an email or request a meeting if you need a little extra help understanding exactly what you need to do for your paper.


Ask Questions


If you need help, just ask for it. There is no such thing as a bad question when it comes to learning. You can ask questions in a variety of ways, such as asking when the assignment is assigned, hanging around after class to speak privately, requesting a short meeting, or sending a quick email. You want to ask questions as soon as you have them so that you can get your answers and get started with your paper.


Be Honest


If you are having issues with your paper be honest with your professor about it. He or she will likely take the time to help you to understand what you need to do. This is also a good rule of thumb if you find yourself needing a little extra time to get the project done. Be honest as to why and try to ask at least a few days in advance of the deadline, according to Luther College. Waiting last minute or fibbing can greatly work against you.



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