How to schedule your day to come up with a great term paper

Jun 06, 2013
At the beginning of every college course your professor will hand out something called a syllabus. It is a timeline of what the coursework will entail and how it is to be completed. Within the syllabus is the outline of all the materials that need to be covered as well as the projects that will be assigned. It is difficult when you are new to a university to look over the syllabus and allocate enough time to complete all that needs to be done. Time management is not an easy thing to learn. Most college students are so excited to have their freedom that they barely know what to do with themselves, little less how to manage school and social life. With so many classes to attend at once, making the right amount of time to study for each individual subject is imperative to having enough time to finish all that needs to get done.
In a high school there was someone who was monitoring what needed to be done. Homework seemed like a time waster, but it was something that was assigned unknowingly to set the tone for your future studies. Homework may have appeared to be busy work, but it was really a way for professors to get you to schedule time to do what needed to get done. It was a way to train you for what laid ahead in your future. If you were smart enough to pay attention to what needed to be done, and the time it took, you learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, most high school students don't understand until it is too late that the assignments in high school are the predecessors for success in college.

The magic formula for college work

It would be nice if there was a magic formula to know exactly how much time everything in college will take you. If you knew that for every course there would be a specific amount of time that was needed, then you could manage your time effortlessly. The problem is that some courses in college will require much more time than others. There will be subjects that will not be as difficult for you as others, or as time consuming. Those courses which come easy will not be the ones which you need to worry about scheduling for. The ones that require the most work, or are the most difficult for you personally, will be the ones which will cost you the most stress in trying to arrange the appropriate amount of time.
The type of work for any college course will depend on the type of class that it is. There are some courses which are analytical, and those which are more subjective. Any time you are required to write a term paper, there will be time involved. A term paper will require that you schedule time that is not considerable to taking a test. When you take a test, you are able to manage how much time it will take in studying. When you need to write a term paper there are some questions that you need to ask yourself:
  • Is the subject something I know a lot about?
  • How much research will I have to do?
  • How many pages, or what is the word count, that is required?
  • Is it a subjective paper, or an objective one?
  • Does the term paper cover the information presented in class, or is it up to you to do additional research to finish it
Any time you need to do research for a term paper there is going to be more time involved. If you know very little about a subject, you need set aside a considerable amount more time than if you are well versed in the subject matter. If the information needs to be something more than that which you learned in class, you should add at least an additional day to the time needed for completion. When there is research required, not only do you need to set aside the time to write the term paper, you need to allocate time to research the topic and to adjust for the potential that you may not immediately find what you need to substantiate your term paper. Allowing enough time to do the research is key to determining how much time the overall paper will take.
If the paper is more objective than subjective you need to allow more time. If you need to cite your opinions, or add credence to your point of view, that is necessarily going to take more time than if you are merely pleading your case based on your opinion. Because term papers can be both argumentative, or informative, the type of paper that needs to be written will dictate the time you need to set aside. The overall word count, or number of pages that are needed, will be a great determinator to how much time it will take. The longer the paper, obviously, the more time it will require.

Manage your time effectively

Managing your time may be one of the best, and hardest lessons learned in college. Unlike high school, you won't have any teacher standing over you, assigning homework, or any parent reminding you what you have to do. College is a time when you have to stand on your own two feet. It is also a time when it is possible to completely crash out on your own. The most important lesson to learn is that if you have a paper to write, it is best not to wait until the last minute. You may have been able to get away with last minute crunch time before, but college is a whole different arena.
When writing a term paper, it is best to keep it in mind from day one of the course. Don't wait until the last minute to begin doing your research, or to decide on a topic. Getting the specifics straight from the beginning will allow you to make enough time throughout the semester to schedule an appropriate amount of time. Making an outline, and going through the steps one by one, especially for you first time, will avoid any stressful last minute rush time that could make the difference between passing and not.
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By Kevin Demlon. Kevin writes helpful articles to share his knowledge with students in need. He enjoys writing articles on new subjects and does his best to create each post showing writing tips in a clear way.
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