Have you ever told yourself that you would definitely start writing that school assignment tomorrow and in the end, you’ve got only a few days left before the work’s deadline and you haven’t written a word? I guess you have, just like me.
They say that it should take weeks for collecting sources, drafting, writing and reviewing a paper in order to create decent academic research. Also, it’s important to emphasize that if you have spare time to start your research on time, then there is no need to wait for the last week and work in blood and sweat.
However, if you can already feel the breath of deadlines creeping after you, then I have concluded from my own experience that it’s not always necessary to spend precious time on doing that. Since there are a few ways and tips that can facilitate the process of writing and reduce the efforts put into it.
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Beforehand, I would like to answer this scary question every student asks themselves at some point in their study “Can I write a research paper in one week?” – Yes, you can, and these tips are for you.
#1 Choosing a topic
If your teacher allows you to choose your paper’s topic, then you have a great advantage. First of all, in order to simplify your assignment, it’s better to choose a broader topic without any specifications. For instance, if you decide to write about Nietzsche in one week, it’s easier to do a research about his life, work, and most significant social and philosophical implications rather than about a topic that narrows down your research field, i.e. ‘Nietzsche as the mind of generations: work and philosophical perspectives on life’ rather than ‘Nietzsche’s relativism in his 1881 the Dawn’.
Second of all, if you come across two or even a couple of topics that might be a powerful investment in your semester’s grade, but both of them are too good to decide which one to choose; then do some Internet surfing and find how many sources you can work with, when you choose one of them.
Before coming up with the work’s thesis statement, doing research in one week can help you understand how deep you can get into the topic and if it’s limiting or not. It’s efficient to write down (save bookmarks of) sources that can be useful during writing your whole assignment. Moreover, it helps build up a draft structure of the paper that enables the writer to see keywords of the work and makes it more logical for a reader.
When it comes to sources, of course, many students rely on Wikipedia. However, I wouldn’t suggest doing it even if you have one week for writing. Moreover, don’t think you’re the smartest to click on the first link you’ve just googled since most of the people don’t go farther than first two pages. There are plenty of papers, articles, essays and scientific works that come in handy and not only reduce the danger of plagiarism but help you develop a versatile perspective on opinions that may easily inspire you for fresh ideas for the work. Also, mind that professors are keen on getting papers with hard copy sources (i.e., books, magazines, etc.), as they are considered to have higher credibility for the academics.
#3 Catchy introduction and repeatable conclusion
In order to develop a deep interest of a reader to your work, you should pay some attention to what you’re going to fill up the introduction with. Instead of writing a vague intro and a rhetorical question, try to introduce readers to some context and then smoothly bring them to the topic by quoting something relatable. A good introduction has up to 6 sentences unless required differently, where each sentence accompanies readers closer to the last one, which at its turn introduces the problem.
Whereas writing an intro in one week can be quite fun and easy, writing a good conclusion can give you some hard time. The reason is that the body (look down #4) is completely filled up with all possible information, and there is nothing left to say. The easiest way to conclude something is to finalize what was said in the introduction. For this, underline the importance of the work and its topic, review the problem/s stated in the beginning and simply confirm them by adding one-two sentences on the solutions found in the body; and if you’d like to make it a bombshell, then simply emphasize the influence of the researched topic on the modern world, people, trees and bees etc.
When you have a portfolio of sources on the topic, review them and try to organize them in the most logical way, so every paragraph conclusion leads to the next paragraph argument statement. Decide how many of those you are going to write in one week and make sure that each of them introduces new information and does not repeat statements from the previous ones.
The point is not to use a source a paragraph since it can make the text dry and unreadable and, moreover, increases plagiarism risk. Therefore, it’s good to mix sources and put them in a brand new light. In addition, every article or paper used normally has a divergent style and can be incompatible when you put them together, so it’s better to determine one specific style of writing and stick to it.
If an abstract cannot be paraphrased or no matter how hard you try, it still resembles the source, then simply put it as a citation, and add a short explanatory paragraph afterward.
#5 References and formatting
Usually, it’s not the writing a paper or researching it in less than a week that takes up most of the time but formatting it. For this, there is no need to compile a list of references on your own, wasting time with commas, periods and slashes. There are quite a few internet websites that offer this service for free requiring from you just the general information about a work (author’s name, year of publishing, publisher, etc.).
Moreover, if you have a hard time formatting your work (alignment, page layout, etc.) find a video on YouTube with a step-by-step instruction or simply download a ready sample online.
This part of writing is extremely crucial, though most people find it irritating and time- consuming. However, you should take this step really seriously since you’ve decided to write your research in a week, unlike those who have been working on it for quite some time.
So, can you write a research paper in one week? Yes, but in order to do it properly, read the work through but only the following day. It’s always more efficient to have a good sleep before revising your work, to have a fresh perspective so to say. Or, if your deadline is tomorrow, then just give it to someone else to do it for you.
Using my own tip, I would like to come back to the introduction and say that yes, you can write your research paper in one week or, even, in a few days; and the result can be as productive as if you spent a good share of time on it. Notwithstanding, it’s always better to practice your time management and do assignments before their due time. If not, then I hope these tips will come in handy for you!