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Ask Supervisor If You Need Help Writing A Paper

There are many mistakes a student can make when it comes to writing an essay or research paper. Perhaps the biggest mistake is not asking for help from their supervisor. Now that is not to say that they will get the help they need or in fact any help would all. Sometimes a supervisor may be out of town or out of the country or tends to be a bit of a ditherer. "Who are you again?" they ask. Not all supervisors are the same.

Then there are a few supervisors who simply are not very good when it comes to the bureaucracy and paperwork. So yes, it might be a situation that your supervisor is often very busy, not around or not very helpful in some ways. But it should be made clear that not every supervisor is like that. And regardless of your supervisor’s availability or competence, asking for help costs nothing.

What can your supervisor do for you?

Well perhaps the first thing they can do to help you in the writing of the paper is in the selection of the topic. Nobody is in a better position to guide you or help you in this regard. Explain your situation to your supervisor and he or she will then be able to give advice. You may have a topic or topics in mind and you can run these past your supervisor. Or you may simply be devoid of ideas and the supervisor can make some suggestions.

Your supervisor is also an excellent networker, or at least should be. They will know other students and members of staff who could give you advice on a particular topic or topics. The supervisor, hopefully, will also be aware of the vagaries of life. They will know that students get behind in their work schedule, that they have health problems and personal issues which can interrupt their academic life.

They can be your lawyer of a sort

If you need to make a case in defence of being late in presenting a paper, if you've missed the deadline, your supervisor, having understood your current situation, can write on your behalf or represent you in some sort of hearing. The best supervisors will be aware of your current situation and will, where possible, try and nip any potential problem in the bud.