Writing papers is always a tough assignment. Whether it's a personal opinion piece requiring defense of a position on an issue or a research paper that calls for multiple sources and quotations, writing a paper is a lot of work that can greatly affect one's overall grade. Here are some suggestions to help you write a good paper every time.

Start early. Procrastinating will only stress you out and cause you to waste time, and that will decrease the quality of the finished product. As soon as you get your assignment and know its due date, begin preparing to write your paper. Determine your subject, gather resources and start doing research and making notes. Starting early gives you time to deal with any unexpected problems and finish with a paper you can be proud of.

Choose a manageable subject. It's always good to challenge yourself in your schoolwork but consider your resources and timetable when choosing the subject for your paper. For example, if you only have a day or two to research and write your paper, choose one pivotal battle in the Civil War and its important figures rather than write a paper about the entire history of the conflict. Make sure the subject you choose will challenge you but will also be one about which you can write a complete and knowledgeable paper.

Utilize as many resources as possible. Incorporate valuable sources, like library books, Internet sources and personal accounts and interviews. Using many different types of sources to write your paper will give you a wide variety of information to use and will also give your paper an informed and well thought out tone.

Follow the rules. No matter how much research you do or how well you defend your viewpoint, your paper will be poorly written if you do not follow the basic rules of grammar, punctuation and citation and documentation of your sources. Use proper grammar and punctuation and check spelling thoroughly. Follow guidelines for citing sources and giving appropriate credit for your research and quotes to avoid plagiarism.

Proofread, proofread, proofread. The best way to guarantee that your paper is well written and concise is to proofread it multiple times and revise it as many times as necessary. Reading your paper out loud will help you determine if quotes you are using flow well within the text of the paper and reword any awkward sentences. Have someone else, such as a parent or teacher, proofread your paper for you and makes suggestions about editing.

Write your own paper. Plagiarism or claiming someone else's work as your own is never acceptable. It is dishonest and disrespectful to the original writer; you also risk being failed in the class or even suspended or expelled if you are found out, so avoid a potentially disastrous situation by writing and turning in your own work. Make sure you know how to cite any sources or quotes that you utilize for your paper and give the authors proper credit.