Why writing a good paper takes time

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I have been procastrinating my psychology paper since weeks. I was supposed to have a meeting with my Professor to discuss my topic and submit my first draft last week, none of which I did. It is due tomorrow and I just decided to CHANGE MY TOPIC because the topic I had picked was too complicated. I am panicking at this point, even though the prompt is really easy and all I have to do is mostly copy from wikipedia and cite references from there. Either way, the realization of why I need to get in the habit of starting early just dawned upon me.

  1. Deciding on a topic itself takes time. Deciding a topic can take a few days, because you need to shortlist what you’re most interested in.
  2. Sure, you may pick what you love the most, but when you start researching and writing, you may realize that this wasn’t the best topic because it doesn’t have the adequate research.Researching and then re-deciding a topic takes another day. Luckily, you can probably pick one from your previously shortlisted topics.
  3. Finding/Building a thesis statement takes a day or two, considering you’ve done enough research to think of one (which you would’ve probably done while finalising the topic after failing at the first topic). If not, then another few days.
  4. After collecting your research you need think hard to build arguments. This can take a few days of research
  5. Then you need to discuss with your professor and get his/her validation and approval. Getting it approved by your professor also takes another day.
  6. Provided they don’t diss the whole idea, you’re good to go. But if they do, worry not because the cycle does not repeat since you’ve already done enough research and he/she himself would have given you ideas by now.

So in totality, for an anxiety free paper submission where you’re confident about what you’re doing, and you have both interest as well as strong claims, you need to start early, which would approximately be 2 weeks.

This is again assuming that the prompt is not common for everyone where you’re only required to do exposition of a concept or a book.(As often in my Positive psychology class and Psychology papers with objective questions). For that stuff, its just a matter of a few hours! This recipe is in the case where you are required to pick a topic by choice and have a thesis statement.


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