Great Papers Aren’t Written, They Are Edited


This post was written by Abigail Creitz, one of the REALTOR® University Librarians.

I started graduate school 6 years after finishing college, which means I was sorely out of practice writing papers. The first paper I turned in earned a lower grade than I had hoped for. As I whined to my brother about this, he asked whether I had given the paper to anyone to read before I turned it in. No, I hadn’t. He then said something that has stuck with me:

“Great papers aren’t written, they are edited.”

Reader, he was right.

Through the RU Writing Center, REALTOR® University has enlisted librarians to help you with your own writing and researching. The Writing Center accepts work at any stage in the process, but most students submit drafted papers so that a librarian can review it for strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas for improvement, such as focus, organization, and use of supporting research. The goal is to help you improve your writing skills, and to this end, we also have provided helpful writing guides such as Research Process & Writing Papers – Best Practices, MEAL Paragraphs, and Focus on Writing: A Sample RU Paper.

Librarians will also review your paper to make sure it complies with APA formatting. We encourage you to consult APA resources as you write, such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Style Guide) and the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL). Even with these resources, many students struggle with properly citing sources in-text, writing complete references, formatting Tables of Contents, and setting up headers. These are all areas in which librarians can guide you, so your skills improve as you move through the MRE program.

Your papers are returned to you with comments and suggestions in two business days or less, but ultimately it is up to you to make any changes and to make sure you have addressed the requirements of the assignment. Find out more about our policy, read our FAQs, and when you’re ready, submit to the Writing Center! If you have any questions, call 800-874-6500 to speak to a librarian or email