The toughest part about writing a paper is "getting to it."
I was cruizing YouTube tonight (instead of doing the writing I needed to do) when I found this 12-minute video about how to write a paper in a weekend. This video is not fancy. Dr. Pete Carr shares his insight into what it takes to layout the first draft of a research paper.
While Dr. Pete Carr is talking about an experimental research paper, the same holds true for a literature review, an argumentative review, or any other type of paper that you write. Important points are made throughout the video but here are some of the high points.
- Get To It!!! - Don't procrastinate. Set a time to begin and get started.
- This is your First Draft - This is the Creative Part. Don't worry about making the perfect sentence. Organize the basics and leave the final editing till later.
- Do your literature research first - you have already reviewed the materials that you will use as a foundation for your paper (Experimental or Lit Review). Put them in order using tables or figures.
- Identify your audience. - No matter who you select, remember the reviewers.
- Use an Outline. - Get your ideas together. You will probably not be writing this in a single sitting, so get your ideas together to corral your content.
- Don't write the Introduction FIRST!! - The Introduction is the hardest part to write. Begin by writing the more concrete content - Methodology, Results, Discussion. These are more concrete so easier to write.
- Write the Conclusion - It is easiest if you number these separate conclusions.
- Write the Introduction - At Last!! Why was the study done? Provide the "relevant background information" to create the foundation for the work that you have already written.
- Produce the References - Collect the references you have already found. If you find that there are some holes in your collection, DON'T search for them now. Make a note and find the AFTER you have completed your rough draft.