First of all, your paper should always follow a basic structure that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Breaking your argument into these basic parts is what allows the work to be readable and flow in a logical manner. In your introduction tell the reader what your assignment is about. In the body paragraphs discuss your main points. And in your conclusion summarize and synthesize everything you have brought up in the paper.
In addition to your essay as a whole requiring the proper paper structure, each paragraph within the work should have its own proper structure. Focusing on just the body paragraphs, you should always include a discussion point, an explanation of that discussion point, an example from a reliable source, and finally a statement or two on the discussion point’s importance. As you can see from this structure each paragraph should conceivably have no less than four sentences before you consider starting a new one.
Developing a good writing plan will give your work some structure, as you are able to identify everything you need to accomplish and can give yourself hard deadlines so that you aren’t overwhelmed with any given assignment. It’s best to develop a plan the same day you learn about an assignment. Use a notebook or journal to make a list of each task, carefully thinking about how long each will take to finish, and using your final deadline as a guide to establish a schedule.
Never submit a first draft of an assignment; it should always be thoroughly revised, edited, and proofread to ensure you are submitting the best possible example of your writing. If you have developed a writing plan before starting your assignment and have given yourself plenty of time to work on it, then you should have ample opportunity to do each of these activities over the course of a few days instead of last minute. With a clear and focused mindset you will be able to improve the effectiveness of your argument, write concisely and directly, and correct any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors that are likely to have come up when doing your first draft.
Finally, you should always remember that learning how to write a great paper, no matter what the topic or length, can be much easier if you put in the effort and practice the craft. In referencing the well-known adage, practice really does make perfect. Many students will go the entire school year without doing any writing practice outside of their required assignments. But if you even commit just ten or fifteen minutes each night to practicing the craft you will see your skills significantly improve over a short period of time.