The clock is ticking. The coffee is brewing. The stress intensifies. And all you’ve written in the past 15 minutes is the title and your name. There’s only one thing going through your mind right now. And no, it’s not quitting school and becoming a professional juggler. You think, “Man, I’m screwed.” And you are not completely wrong. This is why you’re here, you came for help and you came to the right spot. You’re not unlike all the other students saving this assignment for the last minute, so you’re all in the same boat. There are only a few ways to navigate these treacherous waters without being sunk at sea, but first thing’s first: get your bearings straight and buckle down. Know what you are going to do before doing it!
Understand Your Assignment!
One of the first mistakes about writing things last minute is failing to understand what the assignment asks for. What kind of research paper is it? What does it ask you to do? Knowing whether to search for statistics and facts can help narrow your search and speed up the process. Sometimes professors may ask students to write a detailed bibliography, or write in a certain format. Sometimes they have page limits and require a minimum of sources. I’ve even seen some say that Wikipedia is not a valid source, so you will have to go elsewhere for information. Once you’ve covered all your bases, make a check-list for the end of the report to make sure you’ve included everything you need to.
Students overlook how important topic choice is when it is crunch time. The topic determines how easy and quickly you can write this paper. A complicated topic that requires deep research will require more time. However, a topic that is widely discussed and has plenty of sources to utilize. Sometimes you don’t have a choice in the topic, but you can easily choose a thesis that is also simple to research.
Develop Your Thesis
The crux of your research paper; the nucleus; the ship itself, in which you are trying to commandeer, is your thesis. Without it you are nothing. A thesis that you understand will make the whole world seem easier for you.
Your thesis should be very specific and clear and easy to build with. If you choose a complicated thesis, your paper will also be complicated because of lack of research and information about the topic. Plus you’ll have to write pages upon pages about this topic, so you’ll need to think of something that also has a lot of substance. To save some time, use this thesis statement generator to help you create a thesis.
Plan it out!
Taking your time to plan out each part of your paper in detail will help you streamline the process while getting the best grade possible. Something as simple as this;
- Introduction –
- Body Paragraph 1 –
- Body Paragraph 2 –
- Body Paragraph 3 –
- Body Paragraph 4 –
- Body Paragraph 5 –
- Conclusion –
Putting your main ideas in each paragraph allows you to keep track and reference different parts of your paper when needed instead of fumbling around all your other notes. Keeping track also helps you to stay organized in your head instead of being all over the place in panic mode.
Do Quick Research!
The main part of this paper is research, but you’re on a time crunch, so you’ll need to find a quick and efficient way to do so. Finding reputable sources is tedious, but luckily some websites and search engines do that work for you. Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, and Academic Info are all great resources for tracking down good and scholarly information.
Once you’ve found your sources, mark all the useful information. Copy and paste into a separate document so you can easily reference information. Be sure not to accidentally plagarize and copy directly into your reserach paper. Paraphrase your information to avoid this tragic mistake!
Make sure to grab the links from your sources and copy and paste them into your document. Easy Bib is a website that creates a bibliography for you in the correct format, as long as you provide the proper information about the source such as author, year, title, publisher.
Write your Introduction and Conclusion
The top bun and the bottom bun of your Research Paper sandwich, the intro and conclusion, are just as important as anything else you write. It sets the tone and allows your reader to know what your research paper is about in the beginning and at the end. Writing these first give you a direction to write in. You know you need to get to your conclusion, so your body paragraphs will need to lead in that direction. Having your introduction also reminds you what your thesis is, so that you can continue to reference it and stay on topic throughout the paper. Incidentally, the conclusion is also usually the most difficult to write, so starting with that also will help you finish faster.
You have been handed the reins of this ship, and it is up to you whether it sinks or not. Equipped with the best tips for writing a last-minute research paper, this should be a breeze. But if you find yourself under a lot of stress and anxiety, head over to Assignment Experts to help you with your journey of conquering this research paper.