Research and Planning


            When it comes to writing college papers, time management is very important. Time management is critical in order for you to be able to create a well written paper by the due date. There are several components to time management; one of which is the researching and planning for your paper. Research and planning your paper is essentially laying a base for the rest of your paper to be built upon, although for some students this can be the hardest part. When researching and planning your paper there are two important things to consider. How early should I start planning and researching? And, what is the goal or objective of my research and paper?

            So, how early should a college student start planning and researching in order to efficiently manage their time? For starters, you should begin your planning and research way before you even begin to think about writing the paper. Its best to begin planning and researching for your paper around two and a half weeks before the due date. This gives you a great deal of time to do some in-depth research and adequately plan the layout of your paper. This amount of time gives you some wiggle room in case something unexpected happens while researching or planning.  For example, say you’ve been researching for three days, and suddenly, you find that there isn’t as much information on your topic as you thought and you need to switch your topic. Since you started two and a half weeks before the due date you still have two weeks left to research, plan, and write your paper before it is due. This also leaves you plenty of time to take care of other assignments that you may have for different classes.

            When it comes to time management, another important question you should ask yourself is, what exactly is the goal of my paper? Before you sit down to do research or planning, it can be very helpful to think on, and decide what the purpose of the paper is and what exactly your research needs to accomplish. If you can determine what the goals are, it will make planning and researching for your paper much easier because you have an idea of what you need to find and how you want it to all fit together. Something that I myself find very helpful is, once you decide on your goal or goals, you can create a list of key ideas and concepts that you want to look into while researching. This creates a much faster and more fluid researching process because you already know what you would like to look into. Also, this allows you to do more in-depth research because you spend more time focusing on the previously selected topics and less time looking for topics themselves.

            If you ask yourself these two questions before you start researching and planning, it will make researching and planning much easier for you. I personally find that this helps take a lot of the stress out of writing a paper, and it saves me a load of time. Hopefully it will do the same for you all, good luck freshman!