Students would spend hours researching and writing a paper on a completely different topic than what the professor assigned.
It doesn’t matter how good a paper is–if it doesn’t answer the question, it’s going to receive a bad grade.
Starting in college, I developed my own outlining technique that was much more effective.
As it turns out, my technique wasn’t so original after all.
Remember: asking for clarification because you don’t understand the assignment doesn’t make you stupid; what’s stupid is to complete the assignment without understanding it.
Yet, when I was an English TA in college, I saw this problem all the time.
For a full guide to creating a distraction-free study space, check out our article on the topic.
In the meantime, here’s a summary of the best practices: Each paper you write should not feel like reinventing the wheel.
“One more source” can easily turn into hours that you could have been writing.
To overcome the temptation to procrastinate on research, I employ my favorite approach for beating all forms of procrastination: setting a time limit.