adults attending college - your questions answered

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adults attending college - your questions answered

Are you an adult considering going back to college to further your career? If so, congratulations! This is not an easy choice to make, but in most cases, it is a wise decision. As an adult, college can be just as intimidating, if not more intimidating than it is for teenagers entering the college world for the first time. Are there some colleges that cater better to adult students? Can you complete a course in less time at one school than you can another? Are there affordable payment options available? You can find the answers to these and many more questions on my site.

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Writing Papers In College: What You Should Know

When you are preparing yourself to head off to college for the first time, you have many questions and ideas rolling around in your head as to what college life will be like. However, one factor you may not think of in your preparations for college is what writing essays and research papers in college will be like. While you likely wrote many a paper in high school, college is a different beast entirely. Get to know some of the expectations you will be faced with in your college paper writing experience so that you can be well-prepared for the challenges ahead in your college academic career. The better prepared you are, the more likely you will succeed from the start in your college endeavors.

Choosing Your Research Resources

In high school, teachers allow you to cite a variety of sources for your research papers. Some may even allow you to cite blogs, wikis or other publicly edited reference sites, or even social media posts. However, in college you will be expected to be able to differentiate legitimate sources of information from less reliable ones.

While the information you ascertain from the aforementioned resources may be accurate, the source is not considered credible in academic terms, and your professor will likely downgrade your work and findings as a result. So, learn to look for sources in peer-reviewed journals, academic texts (published books and articles), newspapers, magazines, and published studies and research findings. Be sure that the resources you cite are as respected and academically approved as possible to ensure that your professor sees you know how to properly research your work.

Formatting And Editing Papers

When you are in high school or younger, your teachers' main goals are to ensure that you know the importance of citing resources you use to avoid accusations of plagiarism or the like. They may even teach you the basics of in-text and reference listing formatting in either MLA or APA formatting. However, you are not likely to be downgraded for formatting errors and are not expected to be an expert in such areas when you are in secondary school.

In college courses, though, professors expect you to be able to adhere to the rules of formatting and citation for your research papers and essays and may give you a failing grade simply for not doing so (regardless of the quality of your writing or ideas). Formatting and proper citation are extremely important in college writing and being able to do so properly from day one will set you apart from the crowd.

Different courses and fields of study will ask for different citation styles. MLA is used primarily in humanities courses, such as literature, film studies, or foreign language courses, whereas APA formatting is used in scientific fields and psychology, where research is more data-driven. Be sure to pay attention to which formatting style is required for each individual course you take.  

Investing in MLA and APA editors and guides to help you through the citation and paper formatting process would be extremely helpful. You can hire a tutor or editing service to check over your papers, but you should also invest in style guidebooks and maybe even computer software to help ensure that your papers are properly edited and formatted before turning them in to your professor. 

As you can see, writing papers in college can be quite a bit different than what was expected of you in high school. However, if you prepare yourself for what is expected of you and pay careful attention to your research materials and paper formatting, you will find yourself successfully writing well-researched and formatted college papers in no time.