5 things I regret not having done while writing my term project
We have all started a writing project and thought ｡ｰI wish I had done…..” Hindsight can be so irritating! Hopefully if you get to read this before you start your term project you will get off to a flying start. A good start is always making sure that you are familiar with the instructions. Check them very carefully and make note of deadlines and submission dates. At the same time look for any additional guidelines that could be useful.
Onward with the list of regrets!
- Lack of Planning. You knew that you would have this major piece of work to complete, but somehow you have managed to over commit yourself to other projects or additional projects outside of school or college. This can cause you to waste a lot of time through panicking and worry about how you will fit everything into a small window.
What to do. Don’t underestimate just how long that the task will take you. If you are in a situation where you have to choose what to concentrate on first, take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture and prioritize. Estimate the time you need to spend on each task and up it by 20% add to your to-do list.
- Lack of thought about your term paper topic. You have a fair idea at the beginning of the academic year that you will have to write a term paper. If this is not at the back of your mind throughout the term, you may find that you will lose out on some really good opportunities as well as support for your ideas.
What to do. Early on in the term, if you are interested in a particular part of the curriculum and feel that you would like to know more about it then make a few notes about the topic and what you would like to research. The other really important think to remember is to keep your notes where you can find them and add to them frequently.
- Lack of good examples to study. If you want to write a really good piece of work then you need to familiarize yourself with work that other people have produced. You cannot expect to write a fantastic piece of work if you don’t know what it looks like. Again this is down to time management.
What to do. Plan some time at the beginning of your project to look at examples. Ask your tutor for examples. Look on line for examples. There are several good academic websites that will provide examples. Make sure you find samples that are illustrations of good, poor and excellent work, preferably find ones that are annotated.
- Lack of a progression of ideas. If your work is not written so as it flows in a logical progression, you are not lonely going to lose your reader very quickly you are going to lose marks and get a poor grade. It is so easy to get lost in what you are trying to say that you do not notice that you have digressed and gone off on several tangents.
What to do. Before you start writing, sit down and brainstorm your ideas. Fill in as much detail as you can. Then look at your ideas and start prioritizing where each idea sits in relation to each other. Look for supporting evidence for your ideas and remember to balance your ideas with counter evidence.
- Lack of time for proofreading. You have spent so long writing that you have run out of time to thoroughly read through your work. Don’t rely on the spell checker as it will tend to accept some of your typos as correct spelling e.g.. ‘fro’ instead of ‘for’. Also a spell checker will only check spelling and grammar nothing else.
What to do. It would be a shame to spoil all of your hard work for the sake of not having your work proofread and edited. If you think that you are not going to have time to do this then find someone who will do this for you. If you have to pay them to do this it will be well worth the cost.