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Four Directions Writing Guide

Step 4 - Winter

Winter - Your Final Steps

White = Winter

  • balance of intellect and wisdom

  • spiritual

  • courage

  • freedom

  • warrior

  • intellect

  • maintain a positive pattern

  • the end

  • receive energy




Your essay is almost complete. Now is the time to reflect on what you've written, check your work and complete your journey by handing it in. 


Creating your Citations and Bibliography

There are very good reasons why we try to strive for honesty and fariness in using our sources. When you write an Academic paper you are adding your knowledge to the community to help it grow and learn.

It is also part of the tradition of the academic community to acknowledge other people's knowledge that you used in your work. Learn more on why we cite our sources. 

Here's a Video explaining why we Cite in University (From the University of North Carolina)


What you Need to Cite?

The golden rule is to always cite other people’s words, ideas and other intellectual property that you use in your papers or that influence your ideas.
This includes but is not limited to:

  • Anything that you read in any format like books, journal articles, web pages, etc.
  • Anything that is presented or spoken like speeches, lectures, personal interviews, performances, etc.
  • Other works like films, songs, dramatic performances, etc. that are the intellectual property of someone else

For more information see Research Skills Tutorial for What you need to Cite!


bubbles with APA, MLA and Chicago

Help with Citation Styles:

Here are some helpful sites to get your started on citing your sources in their proper format:

Using APA

Using MLA

Using  Chicago Style (Turabian)





Revising and Editing

Upon completion of writing your essay, take a well-deserved break away from your paper. Let it sit overnight and give yourself mental space from it.



If given, look at a checklist provided by your professor or T.A. on points or goals you must hit for your essay.

  • Does it contain a thesis?
  • Do your points support your main argument?
  • What is the page requirement for this paper, and are you over or under the requested page amount?
  • What is the minimum amount of sources that you need for this paper?
  • Have you met those goals?


Edit AND Re-Edit: 

Regardless of whether or not you have met the goals outlined, you, a friend/mentor, or other resources like the Writing Centre, must edit your paper.

This means more than checking spelling and grammatical errors. Also look at essay structure. Is a paragraph too long or too short? Can you summarize each paragraph in 5 words? If a paragraph is too long, can it be shortened, or turned into two paragraphs? If it is too short, could it be expanded upon? After any changes, it is again recommended to give yourself another break away from your essay, in order to give you mental space from your work, to allow a clarity of mind upon reaching the re-edit and/or review portion.


Here is some more help on:

Sentence Structure (Passive vs Active Voice, Fragements and Tense Agreement)

Puncutation (When to use Commas, Question Marks, Apostraphes etc.)

Basic Grammer Help

Spelling Help

Picking the right Word (Your, You're etc.,)


For a fun reminder of common misused words check out the OATMEAL. 




The editing and re-editing process is finally complete, and now it is time to review your work. Does your argument make sense to yourself and others? Have you properly cited everything according to the preferred format of your instructor (ie MLA, APA, Chicago Style, Vancouver Style)? Do you have a works cited sheet? Do you need a title page? Does your professor want each page numbered?


Submitting Your Paper 

At last, your essay is complete! Be sure to submit your work on time by the method(s) encouraged by your instructor. Your instructors preferred methods are always outlined on the assignment sheet, as well as the course outline.

Here are some Tips:

1. Submitting your essay online on Turnitin: be aware of any deadlines for submitting your paper online, as it could differ from the time you must submit it in class, if it is required.

Here’s a helpful website with step-by-step instructions on how to turn in an assignment using Turnitin.

2. Please note: Remember to let your professor know if you have Access Centre or Emergency Accommodations.


3. When possible, ALWAYS submit your essay on time.


Be Kind To Youself 

Reward yourself, de-stress, and relax! Go get coffee with friends, go watch a movie. You deserve rest after finishing and submitting your paper!



When you get your essay back, read the comments the instructor/grader has written down! The look of an essay with lots of red marks may be terrifying at first glance, but the instructor/grader has written them down for a reason: to help you become a better writer for future essays.



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