Create a Research & Writing Plan

Create a Research & Writing Plan

 

Making a plan for a research-writing project will help you stay focused and avoid last minute scrambling. Academic research and writing is an iterative process that takes time. It is not easy, but you can make the process less difficult and more manageable by breaking it down into parts and creating a timeline.

 

  1. Re-read your assignment and plot out specific tasks you'll need to accomplish throughout the quarter. Working backwards from your due date(s), map out time for each research stage, making sure to give lots of time for the exploration and focus stages.
  2. Note which types of sources you will need to consult at various stages of the research process. For example, at the beginning of your research you may need to find sources that provide general background information, whereas later you will need to locate scholarly and other expert sources.
  3. Make sure you give yourself sufficient time. Set aside hours for yourself to begin the research process, read and closely evaluate sources, search for additional sources as necessary, and draft and revise your writing.
  4. Keep track of search strategies - terms, tools, results, questions.
  5. Ask for assistance along the way. For example, you may consult the Research-Writing Studio, Learning Commons partners, your peers, and/or other instructors.
  6. Continue to refine your research plan as you go, but beware of pushing back your due dates too much. Hold yourself accountable to the deadlines you set.