Term Paper Help: how to start your Writing

For many students, the most intimidating part of a term paper assignment is actually beginning the writing process. Term papers are complex, long term projects and the thought of beginning can itself be overwhelming. However, there are some great strategies which can help you to get a strong start on your term paper assignment. Once you’re off to a good start, you’ll build momentum.

Plan, plan, and plan some more

You don’t need to plan the entire project from start to finish before you ever crack a book, and in fact, trying to do so may only add to your stress. But planning can also be a motivational tool when undertaken in an appropriate manner. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Create a basic timeline
  • Your timeline shouldn’t be overly concerned with details. Instead, use it as a way to set flexible deadlines for yourself. Simply set a few dates pertaining to your basic tasks: choosing a topic, coming up with a thesis statement, researching, outlining, and creating a rough draft are great points to start with.

  • Make a detailed plan for the coming week
  • Instead of trying to plan several months of work in detail, simply make a thorough plan for your coming week. At the end of the week, you can reassess your progress before planning the next week. This accomplishes two things: First, it keeps you organized and on track. Second, you avoid the anxiety that many people feel when their initial plan must be constantly adjusted. It’s expected that some flexibility will be necessary when working on a project of this size, but often students become frustrated when they have to extend their personal deadlines.

  • Organize your notes as you research
  • Don’t just save information and sort it out once the research phase is over. When it’s time to create an outline and sit down and write, having to face scattered files, disorganized reference lists, and difficult to find notes will only up your stress level. By starting—and staying—organized throughout the research process, you’ll be prepared to quickly create a detailed outline that will make writing a snap.

  • Take the time to create a great outline
  • Once it’s time to start writing, some students panic and feel they’re already short on time. This can lead them to make the mistake of skipping the outlining process. Don’t do this. Even if you need to devote several hours or day to creating a detailed outline to follow, do so! It will speed up the writing portion considerably.

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