2016/09/03

How to Write Two Term Papers in Two Weeks






Is it possible to write two term papers in two weeks? Well, appearently is is, because I did :D However, if you plan to write a lot of text in a relatively short time, you need to take some precautions. I collected some tips that really helped me getting through with it. 

Of course, this does not only apply to term papers, but you can also use these tips if you're writing a thesis or a novel, blog posts - basically, any kind of longer text. 

Let's get started!




1. Preparation

One of the most important things to do before you start writing is preparation. Ideally, this means that you've got eveything done and you already know what you want to write; you just need to start writing.
For me, this meant conducting a questionnaire study for the first term paper and a small corpus study for the second one. Luckily, we already did that in our seminar and I only needed to create some diagrams to summarize and visualize the results. It also meant collecting relevant literature, reading it and taking notes, which I only partly did - for the next time, I want to be finished with reading when I start writing. 

2. Do Something Every Day

How many pages do you need or want to write per day? Calculate that and try to fulfil your pensum for every day. You'll also see that once you get started and once the words start flowing out of you, it's not that hart anymore. You just need to start.
I had 7 days to write the first term paper and 7 days to write the second.So I wrote 14 pages in the first week and 12 in the second. I did not manage to fulfil my pensum for every day, but I managed to write at least one page every day, even if it meant "cheating" and just filling the second half of that page with a picture :D And I always wrote the largest part on the last day, 5 pages before the first deadline and 3-4 before the second. But I never ran out of time, so that was okay. 


3. Share Your Progress

Writing is also easier if you have an accountability partner. I joined a group in a forum with two other ladies and we told each other of our progress, shared our progress and writing strategies. We also had regular skype meetings (every two weeks, so they already supported me when I was just preparing). I really enjoyed talking to them and although I am finished now, I will attend at least another meeting (both of them are working on their dissertation, so they need a lot more time than I did). So if you have some fellow students or an online community, I suggest you  form a group. 

4. Take Care of Your Health

This may sound a little strange, because how could typing affect your health? Well, if you're sitting before your computer the whole day, you should of course take care that you don't get a headache, but you also need to be aware of the risk to get tenosynovitis. This means that the sinews in your hand will start to ache and if you ignore that, it can leave you being unable to write for some time. 
When I had finished the first term paper, my right hand hurt, so I took a bandage and also something to cool it. I was able to fight off a tenosynovitis, but I was alert for the rest of the writing process and needed to cool my hand from time to time. 

So these were my tips on how to write much text in a short time!

If you've got any additional advice, feel free to tell me in the comments!

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