Classes in college have a large range in difficulty. Sometimes it may seem that you are completing all your work, but just can’t quite make yourself an A-student. Here are some helpful tips for giving your grade the push forward:

  1. 1) 'Do the work.

Yes, may seem obvious, but it is sometimes easy to fall behind on the reading, or put off a paper.  Staying on top of the class materials will make you feel more comfortable in class, and stop the necessity of having to pull all-nighters.
  1. 2) 'Keep secondary sources as secondary sources.

Sparknotes is great.  You will read several books that are difficult to understand, and there are only benefits to using a supplemental source like Sparknotes and Cliffnotes along with the book.  But don’t use them instead of doing to assigned reading.  These books were assigned so you could appreciate them in their complete form, not for you to read a summary in hopes to do well on a small quiz.
  1. 3) 'Visit your professors.

You will encounter few lecture halls on the professional writing track.  Most classes are small, and therefore the professor probably knows you more as an individual than as a student number.  Go ahead and talk to your professors, see them in their office hours.  They will be more than happy to give you tips for improving in their class, and improving as a professional writer.
  1. 4) 'Understand there is help all around you.

The university provides various ways to help you write your paper.  Professors are willing to critique your essays before you hand them in.  The Writing Center in Shanks Hall is full of people willing to help.  But also don’t be afraid to ask friends and family.  Having anyone read over your paper can be beneficial.

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