Research Paper Writing: Managing Your Time
Many students find themselves attempting to write a research paper at the last minute. With such little time it is a great challenge to produce an above-average paper. This is why time management is so important in writing a research paper. You must give yourself time to actually conduct solid research and then organize and write out the material. Even if you have to balance daily priorities, you can give yourself a better chance to succeed at research paper writing if you follow some tips to manage your time.
Develop a Plan
Map out a plan and timeline of what you’re going to do to complete the paper. This will break the project down and make it less daunting. Setting milestones makes it a more rewarding and less stressful experience.
Work In Small Chunks
If you plan well enough in advance, you can chip away at the project in chunks and conduct some through research in doing so. You may have a bulleted list of milestones that begins with researching background information on your topic and ends with sourcing references. All of the effort that goes into putting together a paper is too much to do at the last minute. Your plan should be put together shortly after the paper is assigned.
Designate Time To Work
It is best to designate times in advance to work on the research paper. This is a good approach because you can have your mind cleared up and geared toward the work. Having a clear mind makes a difference because if your mind is in different places it can reduce the quality of the work. Your designated time may be during lunch or other breaks, or after you get home from work or class.
It is imperative to realize that research can take more time than you think it will. Starting with the selection of a topic, planning ahead creates a great advantage. While some may feel that they work well—or even better—when under pressure, avoiding procrastination is a good rule of thumb and nearly guarantees a better process. Keep writing and editing separate. In other words write without stopping and designate a time for editing. Resist the urge to edit immediately, as some get caught up in a write, edit, write pattern. Planning ahead and managing time when writing a research paper gives you a better opportunity to successfully complete the paper and balance your other priorities with little stress.