Research Paper Writing Secrets: Start Early and Budget Your Time

A research paper is a job, and like any other large job, if you get behind in your tasks, you will be playing catch-up for the rest of the process. It is very difficult for a quality product to result from playing catch-up.

Deadline Dates

Most instructors will give you a calendar indicating when parts of the paper are due. Transfer these dates over to your personal schedule, but move up each due date by at least three days. Three days is a nice cushion in which you can overcome research paper emergencies or problems.


Except for in extreme circumstances, such as family tragedy or illness, most teachers do not want to hear why the paper or a step in the paper is late. The instructors want you to step up to the plate and own the situation. So put away those excuses like my dog ate it and or the computer crashed.

Ask for Help

At the first hint of struggle when researching and writing your paper, you need to have a pre-prepared plan to which you can turn. Have the plan ready for emergencies; do not try to create a plan after the emergency. Always be prepared. Some options on your plan agenda might be:

  • See your instructor immediately
  • Attend all teacher extra help sessions
  • Get a peer review or peer help
  • Hire a tutor
  • Put in extra time
  • Hire a custom writer
  • Go to a writing lab
  • Ask questions

Sometimes simply getting a small push in the right direction can help you out with your writing bump in the road. Once you get past that bump, you can continue to write that excellent research paper.


Consider purchasing an accordion folder. Name each section in the folder by the assignment and the date due(remember to move the date up by at least three days), such as Source # 1 /10/02/14. Label the sections in chronological order by date due. Make sure to include a section for all teacher handouts, checklists, and worksheets concerning the project. Get organized in order to keep the process running smoothly.

When writing a research paper, a little bit of prevention, organization, and cushion time can mean the difference between a passing and failing grade. Treat the assignment as it were were a job, and you will find the process of writing a research paper much easier to complete.