Writing a research paper requires planning and preparation. Among the plans made for the paper is the construction of a timetable, which outlines when different parts of the paper are finished. In school, teachers usually set a timetable for the students by setting due dates for the various parts of the paper. When constructing a personal timetable or making a timetable for others, the process is relatively simple.
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Separate the research paper into different sections. Sections typically include selecting a topic, research and note taking, outlining the paper, writing a rough draft, editing and writing a final draft. Papers can further break down the sections if preferred, such as breaking outlining into brainstorming as a rough outline followed by the traditional outline.
Find out the final due date for the paper. Research papers are often long term papers that are typically given a minimum of a few weeks and as long as a month before the due date. Consider the due date before breaking down the timetable for a research paper into the dates to finish each part.
Break the due date down into either weeks or days, depending on the time frame. If the due date is a month or more, break the time frame into weeks. If the due date is in two or three weeks, break the time into days instead. It is also possible to break it down into both weeks and days by making a weekly goal that breaks down into days for different parts of the goal.
Plan the paper. Selecting the topic is usually a one- to two-day consideration. Plan for at least three days to one week for research. Brainstorming and outlining should take from three days to a week, since this is the organisation phase of the paper. Plan for at least two or three days for the rough draft, but consider a longer period of time for long papers. For example, if a paper is two to three pages long, two or three days is enough time to write the rough draft. If the paper is 10 pages long, plan at least five to seven days for writing. Give at least two days for editing. Try to save the entire last week before the final due date for the final draft of the paper. This is a precaution against complications, such as printer failure, that allows time to deal with them.
Fine-tune the timetable. Work out the fine details once the broad items are planned out. This is where hours are scheduled and planned according to personal time constraints and personal needs.
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