Post # 1
I am currently working on an outline for a research paper for my Masters program. The topic is Cloud Computing and the tax implications of the infrastructure and platform service models. Yes. It is as boring as it sounds, but aren’t most tax topics? Sadly, I picked it b/c originally I was looking at the internet tax (which interested me more), but it was too broad to write 10-15 pages about. Hence, the focus on cloud computing. Anyways…
Since you can see this is boring subject matter, how do you Bees keep your mojo going (for lack of better term, haha) when writing dry research papers? Any tips?
Basically, what keeps you awake? Motivated? Prevents you from dying of boredom?
Any tips are welcome!
Post # 3
Some tips I can think of that have helped me are:
1. try to find something even if it’s small that interests you about what you are researching so that the process can be more enjoyable, like finding an interesting article that gives you that “aha” moment and you connect with the material.
2. break down the research paper writing process that you normally use: browse articles, read articles, search again, and read, and start compiling key articles you plan to refer to in your paper and of course have a thesis, an outline (intro, topic headings in the body, conclusion)
3. for me, a cup of coffee and comfortable seating and good lighting without interuptions works well
4. break up the assignment and avoid procrastinating
5. find something to reward yourself after if that motivates you
Good Luck, hope some of these tips work for you!
Post # 4
I agree breaking up the assignment and taking relaxing breaks will help. Take a walk to clear your head.
Only 10 to 15 pages? Heck, I give my freshmen students a term paper assignment with a 10 page minimum.
Post # 5
Thank you, ladies! These are some great tips! Apologies for the late response, but I was actually doing my paper outline. It’s definitely easier if you just unplug yourself from the rest of the world and just focus on it. I’m about a third of the way done with the outline and hope to have it completed this weekend.
Post # 6
@trueblue14: WHAT! I wrote maybe 2 papers in high school (yay public school systems). I believe my max length on a freshman paper was like 4 pages, Although I wrote 6 over 2 semesters! YAY SCIENCE MAJOR!
I have only done one 16 page paper and I’m about to graduate college and begin grad school. I would cry!
@MrsNewDay: I usually only write papers for the chemistry department but I always make an outline and find some aspect that is really interesting and focus on that. I have no idea what cloud computing is but something has to be good about it!
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
If you are on a Mac, I recommend a time managment ap called Pomodoro. I set it to 20 minutes and 5 minute breaks. I would work diligently for 20 minutes and do f*ck all for the 5. It kept me on task while I wrote my dissertation.
A dedicated work environment helps too. I had a carrel at the library, thank G-d. I had no such luxury while writing my MA thesis.
You should be able to pop out an outline for a paper that short really fast. I’m a procrastinator, but that’s something I’d just sit down and do in an hour so it wouldn’t hang over me. The actual paper… that’s where I’d need the help.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@harperlynn: You’re getting out of undergrad with 16 pages as your longest paper? Grad school is going to whip you into shape fast. A 4 page paper isn’t even a paper. That’s an essay. Good luck!
Post # 9
Here’s what I do…but we’re in different fields so it might not be relevant.
I research…highlight etc
Type quotes even if it’s going to be paraphrased later (also put citation notes to make it easy on myself in the end) a lot of this doesn’t get used but it helps me to build my understanding of the subject.
Write outline with possible section headings
Then I freewrite in each section
Go back and tie in quotes etc.
Revise, revise, revise
And done 🙂
And I make Fiance do a read and revise!
Post # 10
@julyweddinglovebirds: +1000 to every single point you made (except replace coffee with tea)
@MrsNewDay: OP, I was a history major in undergrad and then went on to law school. So, I have written a large number of papers on “boring” subjects. I firmly believe in julyweddinglovebird’s #1. When you really connect with your topic and simply allow the information to resonate with you as an academic and as a scholar, you will be amazed by the ease and speed with which your words flow.
@mrsSonthebeach: Oh my, yes. My longest undergrad essay? 40 pages. My longest law school writing assignment? 90 pages (curiously, my most enjoyable/successful). Oy.
Post # 11
@mrsSonthebeach: I like that app you posted. I need that!
Lol oh I know education gap right? My friend just graduated from my grad school program and she hasn’t really had any papers either. IDK if it’s just our school but I have only taken 3 english classes. One literature elective where the papers could not be longer then 7 pages! (I tried to write more and she said no). 1 sociology elective and a couple psychology classes. Everything else is math or science. All tests, no papers.
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@MrsNewDay: ask any and all of your professors to review your paper at different stages in the writing process
Post # 13
This semester I wrote a thesis (80 page total), three term papers (8, 8, and 16 pages) and 2 two-page papers each week.
It nearly killed me. I’m the type of writer who likes to sit down and knock it out in one go, so the Pomodoro technique helps.
For the thesis, I essentially had writer’s block for three weeks followed by two days of productive writing, followed by 4 weeks of writer’s block, and one day of writing, etc., etc. Took me forever, but I essentially wrote that in three huge writing chunks.
What worked for me there was carrying around a little notebook to write down all my random thoughts that occured throughout the day. Also, I just added and added and added to my outline until it was practically term-paper length in its own right. Then three huge writing chunks allowed me to finish it on time.
Post # 14
The environment where I am working makes a big difference to me. I need a place to go so I know that I should be working, and not just messing around on the internet. I go to libraries, coffee shops, or even sit at the kitchen table versus my desk, just so my brain feels like the writing is the task I need to accomplish while I’m there. For me, this helps the most.
But if I am stuck at home and can’t get somewhere else, like if it’s late at night or pouring rain and I don’t want to walk in the downpour with my computer, then I also do the break technique. I set a goal – maybe 1 page or 3 paragraphs or complete one section/graph/analysis/whatever or 1 hour – and then I take a break and watch a short, light, funny TV show (the 20 minute variety) like the Big Bang Theory or something as a way to relax my brain and keep my mind fresh by shutting off for a bit. Good luck!
Post # 15
@MrsNewDay: I would lock myself in the library for hours. Also, treat yourself to something! (latte, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc.)