Research Paper Writing Tips : Time management
Research paper writing is a vital part of an academic curriculum. Even though no specifications are given on the method to be followed for writing a research paper, there are some methods which have proven to be better than the others. There are certain flaws in some of the widely used methods which usually get overlooked.
It is quite a normal practice to make a time chart in advance to help you plan your research and finish it well within the given deadline. Usually those who are given a research paper assignment will be advised to make a time sheet in which it should be mentioned as to how many hours should be kept aside for research on each day, from the day the assignment is given till the day the deadline ends.
This works alright sometimes but not always; because there is a big flaw in the method of planning research by hours. While doing research you are never sure of how much time you need to find the type of information you are looking for. And if you plan to keep two hours a day for your research, the trouble is, you might find that most of the time, these two hours go by without giving you any relevant information at all. And if it keeps repeating, you will end up with too less time to finish your project towards the end of the allotted time.
The amount of information you manage in an hour depends on a lot of factors; the main ones being your level of concentration and energy on that particular day. There will be days when you will be able to finish much more than you expected to finish because of an elevated energy level and suitable research conditions to help you concentrate. But there will also be days when you will have no energy and some other days when there will be too many distractions around to divert your attention. On such days you will not be able to make any progress at all if you have planned it by hours.
On some days, you may not be able to find the particular information you are looking for within the expected time due to many reasons. The book in which you are searching for the information could be a bit too huge to be finished fast. Or the information you are looking for is scattered around the book which will require you to note down the points and page numbers which is, apparently, time-consuming. Even the size and type of font used for the print could affect the speed with which you will be able to manage to find the information you are looking for.
So, keeping all this in kind, it will be a better idea to prepare a chart, clearly mentioning how much work needs to be done, instead of how much hours should be kept aside, each day. That way, you will be able to progress steadily with your work, without suffering any kind of delays on the way, due to bad time management.
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