Planning and Writing Academic Papers

Planning is that extra step that seems completely unnecessary when you’re in a hurry but the second you try to complete something without it you realise how much time a good outline would have saved you in the longrun. Academic writing can reach a very high level of complexity that requires a clear understanding of the right chronology in your work in order for it to make the most amount of sense. Here are some things to bear in mind as you plan an academic paper.

  1. Do a rough outline
  2. You will have an introduction, a body and a conclusion unless things have changed drastically since my day. Do a rough sketch of these so that you know which part goes where and how many points will be going into each section. This will prevent you from cannibalizing you conclusion in your introduction or restating the same point several times throughout your essay in slightly different ways.

  3. Select your resources
  4. Your paper will need research and that requires proper citations. You will need a clear idea of what sources you will be quoting or which people you will be interviewing. If you realise one source is more likely to be accessible at the time that you will be working on your essay, lean more heavily toward it than to another possibly more attractive but unattainable source. No professor wants to know about how wonderful the paper would have been if the guy had agreed to meet you.

  5. Allocate the time
  6. Many papers have started out impressive only to end up mediocre due to a lack of time to complete them properly. This is generally due to time management failure which is fairly common in academic circles. Look at your schedule critically. There is no point in lying to yourself and pretending you will devote nine hours a day to writing when the figure will actually be much closer to two. Or one. Make allowances for the time you will spend doing things like eating and bathing that are fairly unavoidable no matter how close your deadline is. This will leave you with realistic milestones for the completion of your paper.

Academic Papers can be looked at in much the same way as any other project. Writing one is merely a series of steps that once followed properly will lead to a successful result.

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