Writing papers, it is something you will do quite a bit of in college. I personally love writing papers, but the majority of people don't and are usually pretty bad at writing. Something I know we all have in common though is waiting till the night before to do the majority it.
If you're writing a narrative, this post isn't going to help you. If you're writing anything that involves sources, welcome to your new best friend: Evernote.
Many undergrad professors don't require extensive research papers but they will most definitely make you write a "critical thinking" paper incorporating many different sources and direct quotes. Hell, your standard required writing course will make you do this.
To combat the long research process and basically skip over all the bullshit of lengthy sources, Evernote provides the tools to get it done.
Step 1 - Download your PDF(s).
Find your source. Download the PDF. Save the MLA info somewhere. Move on to the next one. You could even web clip articles if you wanted and let it do it's magic.
Step 2 - Place your PDF into a note.
Either upload your recently downloaded PDF to a note on Evernote.com or drag it into the app, and click the sync button.
Step 3 - Wait.
Unless you signed up for a premium account right off the bat you're going to have to wait a bit. Evernote is going to process the PDF and index the text. In a short bit of time (it varies from a few minutes to a few hours for free accounts) you'll have a beautifully searchable source that you can directly quote, site copy and paste.
Step 4 - Search.
Hopefully you've picked a topic you at least know a little bit about. Pick out some keywords that you want to discuss in your paper and search away! From here you should be able to quickly find passages directly related to your paper without reading much of the article at all. Snag a quote that backs your argument and move on to the next paragraph! Your once 5-7 hour paper writing process (most of that time spent reading, not writing) can now be done in less than an hour if you know a bit about the topic beforehand.
I made a quick video tutorial for those of you who are more "visual" learners. ;)