Skip to content
Home » How to Get a Blue Ticket from the Writing Center After an Online Appointment at Colorado State University

How to Get a Blue Ticket from the Writing Center After an Online Appointment at Colorado State University

Many times, when you go to an online appointment to get some help with writing an essay, you may encounter a problem that doesn’t seem like it should be there. But, after you submit your work, you’ll discover that the problem you encountered was, in fact, a bug in the application and you’ll be offered a blue ticket, which allows you to try again for free.

What is a blue ticket, you may ask.

As the name implies, a blue ticket is an error message that the writing center staff gives you after they have analyzed your essay and spotted a problem. The problem could be with the structure of your essay, the content you used or the way you used it. The blue ticket is your pass to try again. Once you have received your blue ticket, you can use the service’s resources to help you fix the problem and turn in a revised essay that is free of errors.

The Most Common Blue Tickets

Over the years, Colorado State University has helped students from around the world improve their writing skills and they have developed a reliable system that helps them identify their most frequent blue tickets and work through them quickly and efficiently. Below, you’ll discover some of the most common mistakes that students make and how you can avoid them so that you can get the most out of your essay.


The introduction is one of the most important parts of any essay because it serves as the first impression that your reader will have of your paper. Your introduction should give the reader the necessary information they need in order to follow your argument. But it should also breathe life into the topic and engage the reader’s imagination. To help you with your introductions, we’ve compiled a short list of tips that will assist you in writing the perfect paper.

Thesis Introduction

Your thesis statement is one of the most crucial parts of your essay because it directly states your argument. Your thesis statement must engage the reader and pull them into the discussion. Moreover, your thesis statement is the piece of information that your reader will find most useful in deciding what point of view to adopt when reading your paper. In order to write an effective thesis statement, make sure that you’ve examined the stated problem carefully and that you’ve developed a solid argument to support your position. Your thesis statement should be concise but detailed enough to be helpful to the reader. The beginning Ph.D. student may find it helpful to write out his or her thesis statement again, using these guidelines as a template.


Your background should provide the reader with the essential context for your paper. This includes explaining the problem that you’re addressing, as well as discussing any relevant theories or research that supports your position. A good background should also include the proper citations of any and all sources that you use in your paper. Background information is often mistaken for “excuses” – facts or stories that you tell in order to make your point. However, your background should never be used to give the reader the impression that you’re ignorant of the topic at hand. Instead, by putting your “extracurriculars” on your resume, you’ll give the reader a clear picture of the type of person they’ll be working with.

Organogram (Chronological Order)

Your paper’s organogram or “chronological order” – the order in which you present your points – should follow the usual essay pattern: the introduction, the claim, the proof, and the conclusion. As the writer, you’ll be responsible for structuring and drafting your paper according to this plan. Moreover, you should always put the most important information at the beginning of the paper, followed by progressively less important information as the paper progresses. This makes it easier for the reader to follow your train of reasoning. When using a chronology, make sure that you’ve examined all the given sources and that you’ve cited them appropriately. Moreover, never use a source out of context. That is, never try to incorporate a news article from today into your paper, even if it is about the topic at hand. Instead, use an older source that is still relevant to the topic.

Use Examples

When possible, you should always cite examples from real life. This will help the reader relate to your argument and give them a sense of how the situation may arise in practice. Moreover, you can use these examples to flesh out your argument and enhance your paper’s readability. However, you should use caution when selecting examples from real life because, often times, these examples may not allow you to make your point effectively. Instead, you may want to use an example drawn from academic or theoretical writing. In cases like these, make sure that you’ve verified the information given and that you’ve cited the source appropriately.

Some editors and writers may advise against the use of real life examples whenever possible, because the information may become dated. Moreover, academic papers are usually “pro-forma” – they follow a predetermined structure that is set by the journal in which it is published. This makes it easier for the editors to determine what content is “on topic”, and what content should be “edited out” – or excluded completely. So, although you should use examples where applicable, you should always strive to keep your examples as formal as possible, in order to ensure that you’ve done your research and that the information is not dated.

The information herein is valid as of the date indicated and may change at any time. Although we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information offered, the University cannot guarantee that the information will remain up-to-date and we cannot be held responsible for any losses that may occur from use of this information.


Your paper’s closing serves as a formalized “thank you” for the reader’s time spent reading your essay. Your closing should include everything that is necessary for the reader to understand and appreciate the value of your contribution. Moreover, since your introduction and the bulk of your paper constitute the discussion, your closing should be short and to the point. Remember that your paper is “complete” when you’ve reached the end of your discussion. So, make sure that you’ve tied up all the loose ends and that you’ve left nothing out. When writing your closing, make sure that you’ve followed the “four-step process” that we’ve discussed above, so that your work is “searchable” and “organizable” – meaning that you can easily find what you’re looking for later on in the text, in case you need to refer back to it.

Overall Structure

Your paper’s overall structure, which we mentioned above, should follow the “four-step process” that we’ve discussed. Moreover, you should also strive to make your “organogram” as logical and compelling as possible. Your “organogram” should make clear the precise relationship between all the parts of your paper. Moreover, you should try to avoid any “loose ends” – any part of the paper that can be clarified, explained, or proven, using the information presented. When writing your overall structure, make sure to “spell out the big picture” – including the relationship between all the elements within your paper, the structure of your paper, and the “purpose” of your paper, as far as the reader can understand it. Moreover, you can use a “table of contents” at the beginning of your paper, which will make it easier for the reader to find what they’re looking for later on, when they’re browsing through your text. Using a table of contents also makes it easier for the reader to gauge how much content they’ve already encountered, compared to how much content is still forthcoming – a comparison that you may not want to make, if you’re writing a long paper.