In order to establish a plan, the first thing to consider is the due date of the project. Get your monthly calendar out and mark that down in red or highlighted letters. Then count the number of weeks remaining until due date. You can figure that writing the paper will take about 25-30% of your allotted time for the project. The rest will be spent on research.
Research is very time-consuming if done properly. It's demanding work. It requires blocks of time to be set up in two or three hour chunks. If you have six weeks to produce a final draft ready to turn in, you might consider a schedule as follows:
First week: Sort through the potential subjects and narrow them down to two or three and do some preliminary research to see what kind of material is available from a research standpoint and which may interest you the most. Make a decision on a subject and decide the direction you intend to go with your research and your paper. Select reference sources you intend to use and put them down on paper in the order you want to study them.
Second thru Fourth Weeks: Search through reference materials, reading appropriate passages and making notes on note cards. Make a broad outline of how you expect your paper to flow.
Fifth Week: Do any additional research, prepare a detailed outline to write from and write your first draft. Ask someone to proofread it for you. Prepare your Bibliography.
Sixth Week: Do any last minute research to support areas you think need beefing up, write your final draft, proofread and edit paper, do your spell-check, print out final draft and proofread it again before turning in for grading.
Once you settle on a schedule keep an eye on it and add additional time to your project to keep as close to schedule as possible. Some students plan their due date a week before it is actually due to give themselves a cushion.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013