Writing a research paper is a hard thing to do. It requires patience, diligence and intelligence. It needs long hours and a lot of work, so here are some simple hints to make your life that little bit easier.
You topic is your starting points. This is where everything else will stem from. So don’t settle on a topic you’re not that into. Don’t do it because you’re adviser wants you to, don’t do it because your friend recommended it, do it because you’re passionate about it. If you are, then that will shine through the whole paper and it will make writing it, and finishing it, that little bit easier. The worst thing you can do is write a boring paper, and if you find the topic boring, chances are readers will find your writing boring. So take the time needed and pick something you’re really into.
Before you put a single word down on paper, or typed into your doc, you should have a detailed plan set out. Not everything in your plan will be used, that’s just the nature of the writing process, but if you don’t have a plan you’ll find your ideas faltering and you’ll quickly lose faith and suffer from writer’s block. Your plan should be your go-to mechanism when you’re unsure where to go next or what your trying to argue.
If there’s one thing that ruins a paper quicker than anything else, it’s rambling. Tangents and sidetracks and wandering prose make for great literature, but terrible essays. You need to make sure your writing is tight, it has to be solid and sure of itself. If you ramble you’ll lose yourself and you’ll lose your readers, not to mention you’ll lose grades. When you ramble, go back to your plan and try to figure out what exactly you are trying to say and why, then delete the nonsense and get stuck back into it.
Aim to write a small portion each day, and take frequent, but short breaks in between. Stick to this plan with rigour and you’ll soon have your whole paper complete. When you do hit little targets, take a break and treat yourself to something nice. It’s amazing what a simple reward such a snack or a coffee can do on the brain. So get writing, and get your paper done!
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