For college students, especially those who are prone to putting off assignments, the ability to write a long research paper in a day is an important skill. This can especially become significant at the end of the semester, when many students have exams, papers and projects all due within the same two-week period. For those who need to spend a large portion of their day on long papers, it is important to not become burned out because there likely is another in-depth assignment that will need attention the next day or the same week.

Writing a Paper

It is important for students to know their own writing abilities. They need to have an idea of how long it takes them to write quality pieces and allot time in their day for their papers accordingly. Usually research papers are at least ten pages long, depending on how concise students are, and require scholarly sources in the form of books or journal articles. It often takes at least ten hours, usually between 12 and 16, to type and edit papers that are worthy of being turned in, often more because of the need to locate existing research or additional sources.

Students need to take care of other obligations, such as classes and work, before tackling a paper. It is essential not to fall behind in anything else for one paper, even if the paper is very important in a course. It may be possible to take time off from something to make more for a paper, but students must be ready to work the research paper into their already busy schedules, starting to work on it in the afternoon or evening.

When starting to write a paper, it is important to already have an idea of what the project is about and what the professor's expectations are. Students need to do what they would if they were writing the research paper over a longer period of time, only in less than 24 hours, which means that it is not good for them to start the process without any direction. Before beginning and to avoid back-tracking once they start work on their papers, they should have a clear idea of what their topics are as well as what they are planning to write about. This means that they should have read the directions for their papers, thought about it and done some initial work on them because without this preparation, it would be difficult to proceed.

As with writing any research paper, it is important to have an organizing structure, particularly for papers that are written in one day. While students must follow the guidelines of their professors and disciplines, formatting sources according to styles used, most papers have an introduction, thesis statements that guide what the arguments with be, a body and a conclusion. To answer the main question or hypothesis of the paper, it is important to use existing research, such as articles in scholarly journals, to show that there is validity to the argument. Even when working in a short period of time, it is important to make sure to use quotes and paraphrase when necessary, making sure not to plagiarize.

After research papers have been written, there needs to be time for editing. Most students do not have perfect typing skills, so they need to allot time to look through the piece for grammatical errors and typos as well as bigger problems, such as improper syntax or punctuation. Before starting the editing process, students should take at least a short break because they have spent so much time looking at the computer screen and are likely to miss grammatical issues within their papers after looking at them for so long. If there is time, it is always good to get other people to proofread papers, but when writing pieces in a day, this may not be possible. The editing process is an important part of writing papers because many professors take points off for spelling and grammatical mistakes.