• Haeshah Z. Davis

#2 Graduate Student Mistake

Showing your professor garbage - even if you’ve done good work in the past, the garbage will overshadow that. They will begin to perceive you as beginning a downward spiral. Or they will get pissed at you for wasting their valuable time. Or a combination of both. They’ve seen spirals before and know that they are tough to pull out of. Here are a few ways pointers to avoid this altogether:

Create a detailed outline of your research. Draft an introduction, make bullet points to configure the body, and form your conclusion. Once you have this, you will be well on your way to share the final draft with your professor. 

Begin writing the rough draft. This is the part where you need to focus on content and sources. Once you have good content, back it up with illustrations, tables, and data to enhance the content you’ve added. This would be an ideal stage to add your bibliography as well. 

Time to make revisions. Should you read it out loud? Yes, maybe a few times if necessary. Pay careful attention to grammar, spelling, and proper style. Small mistakes that can be avoided usually happen at this stage, which is why attention to detail is really important. 

Step away from your writing. You always need a fresh set of eyes on your work, so step away and come back to double (or triple) check for errors. If you have the support of others, ask someone else to take a look and provide feedback. The concept and flow may sound good and read well in your head, but someone else may be able to pull out the things that don’t really flow too well. 

Follow specific instructions from your professor. Does your professor require a specific font or size? Does it have to be single or double-spaced? Your professor may have a specific way to submit or set up time during their office hours, be sure to follow their instructions. 

If you’re struggling with turning in excellent drafts that need little or no revisions, it’s time you check out the Graduate Student 4 Week Boot Camp. All of the students who have taken this course have submitted strong drafts and have gotten shockingly positive feedback from their advisors.  If you want to get your writing right on the FIRST submission, click here for info.

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