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April 15, 2016 - Posted to Writing
Prioritize That Monster Paper and Ace It
You are at the end of the semester and you still haven’t finished that 15-page paper? You have exactly 2 weeks to turn it in. What do you do? Well with an abundance of time management and sticking to this recipe, you can get it done in 5-days.
Gather all of the notes you have taken over the course of the semester, if you took notes, (if not, you are screwed and are better off getting your checkbook out and hiring a good writing service to do the paper) and put them in order. Start with the earliest day and use key entries in your notes to come up with your thesis. Develop the thesis and introduction paragraph followed by at least two pages of supporting thoughts for your thesis and introduction. Anyone can bang out two pages in less than a day. Make sure you utilize any quotations from the text used throughout the semester in the proper format that your instructor requires. (usually MLA) After these first two pages are typed out, go over them looking for sentence fragments, run-on sentences and any other grammar faux-pas that you may have overlooked. If this is not a 15-page paper, but dissertation writing that you have waited to accomplish in 2 weeks, get out the checkbook.
If your syllabus states that you need an annotated bibliography along with your paper, do it today. This is your second day, and now that you have gotten the juice in you to do the paper, this day will be more productive because you have already started. As you do the annotated bibliography keep track of all your source materials as you work. Utilize the database subscription that is available through your schools’ library, and many of them allow you to e-mail and print citations or entire text articles. Screen shots are a good way of keeping them in check also. Having printed out files to work on gives you the opportunity to write in the margins notations to use in your final bibliography as you read your text. This way you don’t run the risk of unintentional plagiarism. Keep in mind that whatever you use from the web, you must be able to cite that source. As you take notes from your reading, develop your own ideas for each annotation. There you are all done., well not quite. Get 2 more pages done for the paper. Now you can relax a bit.
Go over your previous day’s work. Each day you awake, you wake with new eyes. Read through your work and make sure your sentences are supporting one another, (get a cup of coffee/tea, exercise, eat breakfast). Now that you have looked over your paper, it’s time to develop four-pages today. You have 4 pages so far and your bibliography, the four pages that you will develop today will be the explanation of why you chose your thesis. This is the time to elaborate on your thesis and give a strong argument that magnifies why you feel the way you do about your thesis. This is also the time to introduce opposing arguments to your thesis and what could they mean to the reader. These pages are the meat of your paper and should pull the reader further into the content marketing, engage them so to speak. If you are including any kind of graphics this is the time to utilize them. Do not leave a small picture or graph in the middle of the page and think that your professor will consider this as part of your page count. Unless he/she has said this is ok, don’t do it, you will lose points for doing this.
Well what have we here? 8-pages wow, you are getting there. These next 4-pages are research that shows the positives and negatives that you just developed in your previous 4-pages, the whose-who of the paper, so and so said this, and so and so said that, but in consideration of so and so, blah, blah, blah. Statistics fill papers and should be used liberally in this section of your paper. Go back to the library data-base and back-track on you notes to find opposing arguments. Three or four good points will suffice. Are you hungry? Go eat.
12 pages later, its time you pulled it all together. That’s right, the conclusion. Wrap up time with a bow. Try to use something more creative than the words, “in conclusion”, gag, gag. Your conclusion must restate your thesis and how you got to where you are now, restate, restate, restate. Did I say restate? It is one of the things that many writers forget, where they started from, and how they got to the ending. You ever watch a movie and say, “It was good but I hated the ending, it left me guessing.” Exactly! You do not want to leave your professor wondering what the hell just happened. This is the time to fill in all the blanks and remind the reader how you got from A to Z.
Begin writing the last three pages by looking back and reflecting on the first 5-6 pages, and bam, not only did you finish that paper in 5 days but you still have time to walk past the library, point, laugh, and look at those poor souls that are still struggling. Why don’t you give them this article so that they can catch up? They only have a week left.