Steps to Writing a Research Paper: Choose a topic. Schedule and plan time for research and writing. Conduct research. Organize research. Draft your paper. Revise and edit your paper.
Planning Your Project
Each step of a research project requires time and attention. Careful planning helps ensure that you will keep your project running smoothly and produce your best work. Set up a project schedule that shows when you will complete each step. Think about how you will complete each step and what project resources you will use.
Resources may include anything from library databases and word-processing software to interview subjects and writing tutors.To develop your schedule, use a calendar and work backward from the date your final draft is due.
Generally, it is wise to divide half of the available time on the research phase of the project and half on the writing phase.
For example, if you have a month to work, plan for two weeks for each phase. If you have a full semester, plan to begin research early and to start writing by the middle of the term. You might think that no one really works that far ahead, but try it. You will probably be pleased with the quality of your work and with the reduction in your stress level.As you plan, break down major steps into smaller tasks if necessary. For example, step 3, conducting research, involves locating potential sources, evaluating their usefulness and reliability, reading, and taking notes.
Defining these smaller tasks makes the project more manageable by giving you concrete goals to achieve.Jorge had six weeks to complete his research project. Working backward from a due date of May 2, he mapped out a schedule for completing his research by early April so that he would have ample time to write. Jorge chose to write his schedule in his weekly planner to help keep himself on track.Review Jorge’s schedule. Key target dates are shaded. Note that Jorge planned times to use available resources by visiting the library and writing center and by meeting with his instructor.
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