The same thing happens as it always does, its the beginning of the semester and you’re professor announces an upcoming research paper, but little naive you think to yourself “I’ve got so much time”, that is until the week or even the night before its due.
I’ve written enough research papers to know that it doesn’t usually take as many months as we are given to complete but the getting over the overall anxiety to complete such a task did.
Here I’ve broken down my tips for writing a research paper in a week or less.
Assign Each Day A Page
When I was in college, the average research paper that I would get was about 8-10 pages. If I had a paper that was about 8 pages long, then I would assign myself only one to two pages for the day; This method is a lot less overwhelming to think about than 8 in one day.
Create An Outline For Each Page
It’s important to have an idea of what you will be writing about for each page already, ensures that you have a bit of clarity and also provides a bit of flow throughout your paper.
Here is an example outline for a paper I wrote for Media Law and Ethics class.
Topic-The Ethical Dilemma of Privacy For Non-Private Citizens
- Page 1-Discuss the dilemma over what legal and ethical clashes when it comes to privacy and go a bit into depth over the standards.
- Page 2-Example Ethical Issue 1
- Page 3-Example Ethical Issue 2
- Page 4-Example Ethical Issue 3
- Page 5-Legal Issues and Rights of Journalists
- Page 6-Journalist Code of Ethics
- Page 7- Types of Ethical Reasoning
- Conclusion and Reasoning
Break Down Each Page
Not only is it helpful to have a general outline, but also a more in-depth outline for each paper of the day.
For example, if I was on page 2 providing an example of an ethical issue, I might use the Justin Bieber Incident On Bora Bora. I would then write out 3-4 main points regarding that issue (keep in mind that each point should represent a paragraph).
Find A Source For Each Point
After establishing my main points for my page, I would suggest finding at least 3-4 good sources I could use.
I suggest not becoming too analytical about what references to use. Even if you’re having a hard time finding the perfect references, I suggest using the first few ones that you can find, and then come back later and re-write once you’ve found another one in order to avoid spending an excessive amount of time.
Repeat Until Done
Repeat this same process for the rest of your pages, and only then add on your introduction and ending and appendix.
- It’s important to always breakdown your paper and outline as much as possible, because not only does it make it easier to know what you want to talk about, its also helps to give you an estimate of how long it will actually take to write, thus giving you an accurate time period to schedule in your day.
- If you are able to actually finish your research paper in a week, then use any remaining days that you have to continue to do final edits and have your professor look over it, to see if he/she would like any changes made.
- Always write the intro and conclusion AFTER the body paragraph, that way you have a clear understanding of what you’re talking about.
Grammarly-An online grammar and spell checking platform. You can I personally like to implement it as a Chrome Extension whenever I write (like this article).
Citation Machine-Make your life easier and simply use Citation Machine in order to create references rather than having to convert them yourself.
Purdue Owl-Has plenty of resources for instructional material of how to properly write and format a research paper
Plagiarisma.net-Is an online platform that not only helps you to check your work for plagiarism but also aids helping you to re-write your paper.
Natural Readers-Is a text to speech website where you can upload your documents and have them read back to you. I find this very much easier to hear any potential writing mistakes read back to me than reading it myself.