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13 Time Management Tips for Research & Academic Writing

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Time management is an important thing that needs tips for successful dissertation writing. For those who don’t know, a dissertation study is a research project that is completed at the end of your undergraduate or postgraduate course on your choice.

Whether a student is enrolled full- or part-time, their life might become hectic due to a 12-credit school load and employment commitments. Here are seven time management strategies for academic writers to help you have a less stressful semester before you drink your eleventh cup of coffee and struggle through yet another restless night attempting to complete your academic writing tasks by the deadline.

Proper use of time management tips for dissertation writing can be very handy and distinguishable from one to another. This article will be sharing some time management tips for dissertation, research, and academic writing.

Time management tips for dissertation writing

Writing your dissertation may be a stressful and time-consuming experience – but only if you don’t manage your time effectively!

When you first start thinking about your dissertation, you may feel like you have all the time in the world, so it is easy to plan and be content and then, before you know it, the deadline is just around the corner.

If you struggle to keep up with the deadline, try following our six tips to get you back on track.

1. Make a schedule and follow it

Whether it’s on a calendar, a piece of paper, or just on your phone, having a timeline is a great way to keep track of your progress. There’s absolutely no getting around the fact that academic writing takes time and planning. If you are enrolled in graduate school or advanced undergraduate courses, this is especially true. The days of putting off a writing project until the night before the deadline and working all night to finish it and still receive a respectable mark are long gone. When cutting-edge research is involved, it is just impossible to pull off.

To create your timeline, divide your dissertation into several sections and set an approximate time you want to complete each section. It’s important to be realistic about these times – if it’s not you either don’t follow them, or you just get irritated.

Setting realistic goals can help you feel motivated and less stressed, as it divides achievable bite-sized chunks instead of completely overwhelming the research.

time management tips for dissertation writing

2. Follow your schedule

Determine the procedures that will be required with the task before you start it if it has a one-month deadline. These procedures will contain the following for the majority of academic writing tasks, such as essays or research papers:

  • Visiting a library or conducting research online to locate sources
  • It’s time to read the sources
  • Time to jot down some notes and list the sources utilized
  • It’s time to establish a thesis statement, an argument, or a hypothesis and describe the path your work will go.
  • Now is the time to draft
  • A “second pair of eyes” or editor to review your work
  • Time to finish the last draft
  • It’s time to finish the list of sources or references in a formal format.

Finding and reading through your sources might take an hour or many weeks, depending on the size of your work, so it’s ideal to get started on this section of the academic writing assignment as soon as you can. This step of the procedure might take more time and be more stressful if your professor sets restrictions on the sources you can use or the dates they were published.

There are definitely many more processes than those mentioned above if your academic writing assignment is a thesis or dissertation. Whatever the job, it’s crucial to plan out the actions that will be required and create a realistic timeframe that you can adhere to.

3. Schedule your regular week

Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually have to write the report until you are done on a regular basis. Set up a structured time to do your dissertation – Similarly, you can set aside time for the gym. It is important to spend your research time, but it is important to remember that it is about the quality of your production work, not how many hours you have spent on it.

Some people find it useful to treat nine to five jobs a day and work only during periods that have a workday structure. Other people prefer more irregular work patterns, for example, if they work better at night or in the morning – then decide what’s best for you and stick with it!

4. Do your research

Start by making a list of the sources you want to use in your dissertation article. Use suggestions from your supervisor and see what books are on this topic at your university library. Use online resources too: Google Scholar is a good place to search.

The next step is to start reading your sources by making sure notes and record titles and page numbers. When you go back and mention these sources it will make it a lot easier in the future.

5. While studying or writing, turn off your phone and social media accounts

We’ve all experienced it: the moment when your attention shifts from the subject at hand to a more in-depth level of analysis when you’re writing or studying it. As your thinking becomes more clear and your speech becomes more fluid, all of a sudden, ding! You completely lose it when you get a Facebook notice.

How long did it take you to reach the point of concentration you reached before the notice diverted your attention? Ten moments? perhaps more? Now that you’re starting over, your ideas are jumbled, and a deadline is fast approaching, so you need to regain your focus.

Constant interruptions might create more delay than you may anticipate when you’re researching and writing since they last longer than just a few seconds. It takes extra time to refocus your attention on the activity at hand, and if there are enough distractions in your environment, those extra minutes can quickly turn into hours. This is particularly true of social media, which may lead to time waste as you scroll through more useless memes and adorable kitten pictures.

6. Make arrangements in advance for a work reviewer

Even if you spend hours writing and editing your academic paper, a few spelling or language mistakes might prevent you from earning a passable mark. You shouldn’t rely on tools to verify your work for faults because of time management tips for dissertation, research, and academic writing.

Even while your word processing application and online tools like Grammarly could seem like an excellent alternative, especially if you’re short on time, research demonstrates that they frequently miss even minor grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Many institutions provide peer editing services at computer labs, libraries, or other convenient locations on campus if you are unable to afford a professional editor to review your work. These services are frequently free for students, although you might need to make an appointment in advance. If you decide to go with this option, be sure to contact ahead of the day you receive your assignment to find out how to arrange for a peer review session of your paper. You should also give yourself an extra day following the review to make any necessary modifications to the rough copy.

7. Prioritize your tasks

What is the priority of research writing? Decide what are the most important tasks and put them on top of you (look at your timeline to see which parts need to be done first).

Write down a list of shorter, less time-consuming jobs, so you can get back to them if you need a break from working. That way, at least when you procrastinate, you’ll still be productive.

It is best to have a notebook in hand for writing down any interesting ideas you have while you are writing so that you can return to them later.

8. Create a writing plan

It is like operating a locomotive without rails to writing without an outline. You need an outline that provides you with a basic direction to follow if you want to write a cogent, well-written essay. Making sure your writing flows properly can ultimately help you save time.

Depending on how much time you have to write your essay, you should spend some time planning it. For instance, if you have an hour to complete an in-class task, it is evident that you shouldn’t spend more than 5 to 10 minutes on the outline. However, if you only have a month to complete an academic essay project, you should spend a few days planning out the essay’s essential components (such as the introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion).

Your outline will be helpful in drafting the abstract if your academic project calls for one. An introduction to the issue, your thesis statement, and the arguments or theories you intend to advance should all be included in the outline. These are all things you’ll need while writing your abstract.

9. As you go, make your citations

Make sure to cite each source you utilized in the manner specified by your assignment as you read your sources and conduct research on the subject. The ideal way to accomplish this is on note cards, with the complete citation on one side and the quotation to be used (along with the page number) on the other. As of this moment, all that is needed to create a references list is to alphabetize the sources that were used. This is a fantastic time-saving technique that will significantly reduce the time needed to create the final draft before submitting your essay.

If you can access the laptop you’ll be using to write your paper while going through your sources, store the citations there to save even more time while writing them. Depending on the citation style you select, some word processing systems will even place the citation in the appropriate format.

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time management tips for dissertation writing

10. Decide how many words you want to write each day

You should know precisely how many days you have to complete the writing section of your academic writing project after setting a deadline. Make sure you meet your word count target each day you write by dividing that sum evenly by your word count requirement.

For instance, if your essay is supposed to be four to five pages long, double-spaced, and without citations, it translates to around 1,200 to 1,500 words (an accurate estimate of 300 words per page of double-spaced writing). If you have a week to conduct your research and complete your assignment, schedule a day for research and source gathering, a day for outlining and reviewing sources, three days of writing (aiming for 500 words per day), a day for having someone else proofread and edit, and finally a day for you to finish the final draft.

11. Keep your supervisor in the loop

When writing a dissertation you will be assigned a supervisor who will guide you through your project. Supervisors are usually interested in helping you with any issues you may have, so make sure you have any questions about your research.

It is best to keep your supervisor up to date with what you are doing. Reporting to them about your progress will motivate you to continue, and they will be able to provide helpful feedback.

12. Take pauses from your books and screens

Even though taking pauses can appear ineffective for maximizing time efficiency, it isn’t. By taking regular pauses from your research and writing tasks, you may reduce the stress that results from having to focus on tiny print in your source material and the bright light of a screen. Failure to do so may result in headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, and difficulty sleeping, all of which may impair your capacity for work and clear thinking the following day.

Be sure to take these pauses by walking outdoors and breathing in fresh air, if at all feasible. If you are unable to spend a few minutes outside, other healthy alternatives include meditating, closing your eyes while listening to music, doing a yoga sequence, and keeping a plank position for a number of minutes to ease lower back tension.

13. Just start writing

The bottom of your perfect subject is when you start writing. Some people like to finish all their studies before they start writing, while others prefer to start writing and continue their research if necessary.

Be aware that when you start writing it may become obvious that you need to do more research, so leave enough time for it in your schedule.

You can start writing and realize straight away that this is far from your best work time management tips for dissertation, research, and academic writing. Even so, keep going! It’s not very good now but it still progresses. You can go back and edit it later.

Final thought

Always have a second set of eyes review your work before you send in the final manuscript, no matter how you manage to achieve it. After spending a lot of time on one document, it may often be simple to overlook even the most obvious language and spelling mistakes. And no amount of planning or study will turn a poorly written essay into an easy A.

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