How to Arrange Time for Academic Research Papers or 4 Ways to Plan Your Writing

academic research papersWriting academic research papers is hard on its own. Still, probably the hardest part is to make the first steps — to get down to work, and then to stay focused on your work. Too many distractions stand in the way, and that is why we end up losing too much time doing nothing. The solution? There are many of them, but the best one is to arrange your time and to follow this plan. Only this way, you’ll be able to deal with the task quickly and effortlessly. Let’s see how you can efficiently organize your research paper writing.

1. Plan

Plan your paper-related activities. Remember that the writing process involves not just writing itself, but some other essential items, such as choosing a topic, researching, and referencing. Dedicate at least 20% of your time to researching the topic, and leave some time for the final editing. Keep in mind that selecting a topic can be a real pain in the neck, so consider brainstorming to get it done faster.

2. Divide

After you are done with planning and researching, divide the entire writing process into 4 parts: introduction, main body, conclusion, and bibliography. You must agree that there is a great difference between doing the paper for 4 hours in a row and doing it step-by-step, in 4 smaller chunks. Bear in mind that writing an introduction is much quicker than writing the body, so redistribute the time respectively.

3. Focus

Focus on the order of these steps above and stick to your plan properly. Let’s see what would be the best order of your writing activities.

  • First, you’ll want to work on your bibliography in the beginning. It is always convenient to list the sources for research papers while researching the topics.
  • Secondly, you should write an introduction or, at least, its major part. An introduction contains the thesis statement – the key message of your research paper. Be sure to write it before you start writing the body — it will help you to follow the paper’s structure and to arrange your own time.
  • Then, write the body of your research paper. You might divide it in 3 parts, or another number of stages, depending on the number of the paragraphs in your paper.
  • At last, finish your piece of writing with a conclusion. Summarize what you have covered in the main part, link this to your thesis statement, and provide some practical implications. You can also draft the conclusion before continuing with the body. In this case, be sure to review the conclusion after your paper is done.

4. Use Tools and Techniques

Use time-management techniques that will help you stay concentrated on your assignment. There are mobile and desktop apps for shutting off the distractions that you might find useful, such as StayFocused or Anti-Social. Alternatively, you might turn your phone off while writing and even disconnect from the Internet. There are some handy techniques as well, for example, Pomodoro. Just set your timer for 25 minutes, and work on your task during this time. Let yourself have a rest for 5 minutes afterwards.

These are ways to help you cope with the research paper. The most important thing that you should be aware of is that good planning reduces your working time significantly. So, plan before you start and always stick to the plan. It is better to do the qualitative work, and it is even more better when the quality is combined with rapidness.

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