4 Challenges Students Face When Writing Papers & How to Overcome Them


You may feel like you’re the only one struggling when you see your peers handing in assignments early, never requesting extensions, and taking paper writing in their stride. The truth is, though, that many students find writing papers to be one of the most difficult aspects of college. In particular, there are a few challenges that can make finishing a paper a nightmare — but the good news is there are ways to overcome all of them.

1. Poor Time Management

When a professor assigns you a paper, it’s common to underestimate how much time you’ll need to write it. If you’ve been attending all your classes and studying hard, the question may seem quite straightforward. As a result, you may put off getting started to spend more time with your friends or to attend events on campus.

However, once you sit down to write the paper, it’s likely you’ll find it takes significantly more time than you were expecting. This can easily lead to disaster. Luckily, there’s an easy fix: start working on your paper almost immediately. There’s no disadvantage to finishing early, and the end result will be much better.

2. Writer’s Block

Of course, you could start working on the assignment when you have plenty of time to spare only to find that you’re unable to think of anything to say. This tends to happen when you’re overthinking the paper — it becomes this huge, important thing in your mind, whereas it’s actually just one more college assignment. Reminding yourself that it’s not such a big deal can help. If the due date is still far in the future, you can afford to just jot down some ideas for now. You may be pleasantly surprised to find these ideas quickly become fully formed and you make decent progress almost immediately.

3. A Lack of Literature

Another issue may be that you’re struggling to find literature from credible sources to support your arguments or to provide the facts and statistics you need. Improving your time management can help with this: by starting early, you’ll be able to spend longer searching for appropriate literature. If you remain stuck, remember that the librarians on campus are there to help you. It may be that you’re not using the right keywords or you’re dismissing something that would meet your needs. Whatever the problem, a librarian can help.

4. Drifting from the Question

It’s easy to become distracted by an interesting fact or idea you encounter while researching your paper and end up taking the assignment in a completely new direction. However, if you fail to answer the question, your grade will suffer. This is especially likely to happen when you’re new to writing long papers — you’ll learn how to stay on track as you gain more experience. For now, though, the best way to overcome this challenge is to regularly return to the question and think about whether what you’re writing is relevant.

Possibly the most important factor when it comes to writing papers is having somewhere quiet where you can work undisturbed. You can find just what you’re looking for at Foundry Lofts. Our alternative to Niagara College residence provides you with a private bedroom in a fully-furnished apartment with just three or four roommates. If you need a change of scenery, you can also head to one of our private study spaces. Book a tour to check out all the great facilities.

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