3 Ways to Survive Your First Research Paper Assignment

By the time you run into your first research paper assignment, you should already have all the skills you need to deal with it effectively. Nonetheless, a lot of students dread the moment their routine small essays turn into huge and official research papers. 

And this stress definitely has a negative impact on the results of their work. Considering how important big assignments are for your grades – this just simply can not do.

The first thing you want to do is take a deep breath. In the words of a certain hitchhiking guide – don’t panic. Because frankly speaking – there is no reason to. 

What you have on your hands is just another writing assignment. Yes, it’s a little bit bigger than usual. But you have done things like this countless times before. So now let’s go over ways to deal with it one by one.

Prepare Yourself

Even the most intimidating formats of formal writing can prove to be a cakewalk if you have the right tools to deal with them. And thanks to modern technology – there is no shortage of tools out there. And even when all of those aren’t enough – you can always try to find a reliable paper writer online to help you out. Keep in mind that it should be your last resort. Use it responsibly.

More academically acceptable tools include all sorts of supporting software. These apps can help you take care of most of the routine work. 

Plagiarism is also a big concern for students and professors alike. When you are hopelessly overworked it is very easy to quote one of your research sources a bit too literally without slapping quotation marks on. Whether or not you did it intentionally – it will still get flagged down as plagiarism. And that can severely affect your grade. So it never hurts to be extra safe and use a plagiarism detector of your own before you turn your paper in.

Proofreading and editing are some of the most time-consuming parts of writing. Especially if your word count is fairly high. So an app that will scan it for grammatical mistakes can save you literal hours of painstaking work. Which in and of itself is priceless.

Start Early

Delaying big assignments is one of the most dangerous mistakes students make. Even seasoned veterans oftentimes brush the deadlines off until it’s too late. You can sort of get away with it when you are dealing with small projects. But when it comes to something big like a research paper assignment – you should always try to start as early as possible and not get distracted no matter what.

There will always be some sort of distraction or excuse to push the work a bit further down the line. Socializing with friends, surfing the web, attending to a hobby – these are all pretty important things. But the first thing you should learn is to prioritize. And your assignment always takes priority over your downtime. Everyone knows that but not everyone can act on it.

The one thing that supports willpower and discipline is a habit. Create a schedule, dedicate at least an hour a day to working on your research paper. The trick is to start as early as possible. Your first session should ideally begin the day you get the assignment. Whatever happens – do not skip this dedicated working hour. It’s way more efficient to go slow and steady than to try and cram it through the last night.

Plan Ahead

Plenty of students deal with research work at some point in their past. But the main challenge of a serious research paper is its sheer size. It may intimidate or disorient those who are not used to working with such a format of writing. So to make some sense of this huge blob of words you are expected to deliver – the best thing to do is to create a distinct plan of action.

Like all official types of writing, research papers have their own structure. This structure already allows you to separate the work into several smaller sections. Taking on these sections one at a time can make your life slightly easier. A generic research paper structure looks something like this:

  • A brief summary of your paper;
  • Introduction into the background and objectives of the research;
  • Main body;
  • Results and findings of your work;
  • Results analysis;
  • Auxiliary sections.

Creating a more specific personal structure for your research paper is the first step of your work. Then you should fill every section of your structure with substance one by one. But even as you finish your first draft – you are still far from being finished. Next comes the proofreading. Go over your paper over and over again. File down rough edges, make corrections.

Remember that your time is limited. So try to make the best use of what you have. Schedule your work session in a way that will allow you to take breaks between every major step. It is especially useful when you get to proofreading. It can be very mentally draining to work on the same paper for a prolonged period of time. Stepping back and resetting your brain can help you spot mistakes you would otherwise miss.

Final Words

As you can see – the research paper is really not as scary as it seems to be at first glance. The basic principles of successfully finishing this assignment are all the same as with the regular papers. All you have to do is stay focused and be responsible with your time. It really is that simple. And if you can do that – there is absolutely no reason you wouldn’t be able to write a great research paper.

The time you are given to complete it is more than sufficient. Even when taking into account possible emergencies. But don’t take it as an invitation to put it off. Start working on it as early as you can and finish it as early as you can. And after you are done you will have plenty of time for rest and relaxation.


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