Speeding Up: How to Write a Research Paper in a Day


It’s bound to have happened at least once in your life: Procrastinating when you have a research paper due. This isn’t the ideal way to write, but it can happen to the best of us. If you find yourself looking at a blank screen and your paper is due the next day, here are a few tips to help you speed up and get that research paper written:

  • Relax your mind. Before starting your research assignment, it’s always a good idea to relax a bit. Close your eyes, turn on some soft music and clear your mind of all distractions. This meditative practice needs to be only 15 – 20 minutes, but the effects it has on your thinking can last for several hours.
  • Develop your thesis statement. Once you’ve had the chance to calm down, it’s time to write a great thesis statement. Your thesis should help you focus your research and your writing to just one specific topic. Make sure it’s narrow enough to provide the basis for well-researched paper, but not too narrow that you can’t find any information on it.
  • Write your introduction. You want to make sure you start your research paper off with a bang, and there is no better way than writing a great introduction. It needs to grab your reader’s attention and compel them to read more. You can have a couple of introductory sentence and then jump write into your thesis.
  • Defend your thesis with focused brainstorming. Brainstorm a number of reasons why your thesis is true. Think of every reason why your readers should be convinced of your central argument and claims. Write your key arguments into an outline; they will be the basis for your body paragraphs.
  • Start your research to defend your thesis. Some instructors require a minimum amount of resources to include in your bibliography. This should be your minimum as well. This is the part that most students waste time in, so be sure you set your limits. Skim resources and immediately write down the evidence that supports your thesis in an outline.
  • Write your paper. Now is the time to get to your serious writing. It’s always a good idea to write a rough draft to organize your thoughts but you won’t have time for this, so try to fix your sentence structure and argument process as you go. Don’t spend too much time on any one phrase, however. You can come back.
  • Think critically. Great research papers are written with critics in mind. This means that your paper should anticipate what your readers will think and have to say about your essay. Respond to what your critics might say and strengthen your paper by showing that you have and understand other points of view.
  • Summarize and write your conclusion. Write your conclusion by restating your thesis and summarizing your main arguments. Make sure you tie your supporting evidence together and show how it all works together to prove your thesis statement.
  • Revise and edit. You will have to edit and revise your paper as you go. Be sure to cut out the everything that doesn’t support your thesis nor has anything to do with your paper. Eliminate any paragraphs or sentences that slow down your essay or weaken your central argument.

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