Don’t Waste Your Time When Writing Research Papers

Writing a thorough and high quality research paper can take days or even weeks of preparation, pre-writing, writing, and editing. The average twenty page research paper can take as long as a month from start to finish, and a more extensive term paper project or thesis can take upwards of a year.

Unfortunately, most students writing research papers waste an incredible amount of time, simply because they do not know there is a more time effective way. There’s no reason to spend more than a couple of days composing a research paper, if you use your time intelligently. Below is a list of suggested methods to lighten your writing load, ensuring your research paper is done in no time.

  1. Limit the focus of your research paper as early into the process as possible. Zero in on a particular research question and do not stray from it, or you’ll waste vital hours.

  2. Collect a wide variety of journal articles, book chapters, and other resources. Ask a research librarian for help in tackling your research question rather than searching on your own.

  3. When the time comes to read your research materials, do not take everything in from cover to cover. Skim your research sources and skip irrelevant readings entirely. Highlight key facts and look up extra sources on interesting topics.

  4. Outline your research paper as soon as you have arrived at a specific hypothesis or research question. Leave blank spaces in your outline where you can fill in the names and dates of relevant citations.

  5. Begin writing as soon as possible. You do not need to have all your data to begin writing your introduction and methods sections. You can start composing these at the very start of the research project.

  6. Write on a regular schedule, and devote at least one or two hours per day to writing your research paper.

  7. Even if you have no data to write about, you can work on building up the reference list, formatting the paper, and writing the introductory chapters.

  8. Have a copy of a useful and relevant sample research paper next to your desk, and use it as a style guide, outline, and piece of writing inspiration as you write your own research paper.

  9. Ask your instructor if she or he has any sample research papers you can follow as a template. This will help you anticipate the exact expectations for your own project.

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