Senior Paper Tips to Help You Succeed

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Senior Paper Tips to Help You Succeed

Launcy Soult presenting his topic about Banned Books

Launcy Soult presenting his topic about Banned Books

Morgan Demchak

Launcy Soult presenting his topic about Banned Books

Morgan Demchak

Morgan Demchak

Launcy Soult presenting his topic about Banned Books

Morgan Demchak, Staff Writer

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The senior paper is a requirement to graduate, therefore, everyone must go through it. An 8 to 10-page paper, about a controversial topic of your choice, must be researched over a little over a month period. It includes things any MLA paper would, works cited, introduction, etc. After the paper is turned in, you must present a PowerPoint presentation about your topic. Altogether, it sounds like a lot. However, if you manage your time well and know some useful tips, the stress will be less and the paper will go by quickly.

In my opinion, the most important thing is time management. Although there is an adequate amount of time to do every part of this paper, it may seem like a lot all at once. Find a study hall, free period, or lunch just to get some extra work done to get ahead. Working ahead is important because if you miss a day, you’ll still be on track and will not fall behind. Always leave a day before you need to turn the section in. This is so you can make small changes and perfect it before you turn the final in. Reserve your English period just for doing the paper. Do not do other classwork or play on your phone during this period, it’s an opportunity to get your work done without having to do it at home.

With claims, counterclaims, and rebuttals, the amount of sources you collect will be overwhelming. I recommend getting a binder to hold all of your material just for the senior paper. Get dividers to divide the claims, counterclaims, and rebuttals and keep the drafts of your paper in the back so it’s easy to make revisions. You should also print out a copy of all your sources for quick reference in case you need to double check something. On the topic of sources, get more than you need. Spend an entire day researching and print out more sources than you need in the event you cannot find any more. Research to a great extent before you finalize your claims and counterclaims. Make sure you have the evidence to support it or you’ll be stuck half way through the paper with no sources.

The presentation is the other half of the battle. It has to be 7-12 minutes with other requirements that are detailed on a rubric. I recommend multitasking the paper with the PowerPoint so you do not have to do the PowerPoint all at once. Put a lot of time into the PowerPoint so it is as informative as your paper. At this point you have been doing the paper for weeks and you will know all the information so if you are having troubling making time, add things that were in your paper but not in your PowerPoint when you’re talking.  Practice all you can. Record and time yourself to be sure you can make time and that you are making eye contact with the audience.

Everyone has to do the senior paper and the presentation so these tips are to make it easier to get through a very hard paper. This is probably one of the last, if not the last paper you’ll ever write. Make it your best.