Advice: Talk to professors before starting a paper and while writing a paper if you any questions at all.
Why: Your professors want to see you succeed. If you aren’t sure about a paper then ask questions. You don’t want to spend time writing five pages if you aren’t sure what you are supposed to write about. Similarly, if you are stuck while writing the paper then don’t wait hoping you will get unstuck. Often a quick five minute chat with a professor makes all the difference.