It’s getting to be that time of year again...
Okay so I’m a BS student in criminology rn and I have HELLA papers to do in the next two weeks, but I also have crippling anxiety and executive dysfunction, so here’s how to Break Down Big Papers into Bite Sized Chunks.
1. I assume you have a topic already, but I’ll make a separate post for that. Which means
2. Look at your topic and QUESTION IT. Does the media have anything to say about it? Does it show up in movies? books? TV? What stigmas surround parts of the Thing? Make sure these are questions YOU are interested in and want to know about, because that will make this so much easier.
3. Write those questions down. A bulleted list is my choice of formatting, but whatever works best for you, DO IT. We’re not worried about formalities right now.
4. Start Researching answers. Don’t worry about citations yet. Open a new document and copy/paste the source name and URL for later. When you’re answering the questions you came up with, throw every scrap of info you find into said answers and worry about formating later. THis can include personal thoughts and notes because again, DONT WORRY ABOUT FORMATTING.
5. Take a metric fuck tonne of breaks when you need to. Hydrate. Eat Food. I’ll sic the Duolingo Owl on you if you dont. It may also be helpful for you to listen to music or ambient noise. Do that if it helps. You want to be in a good headspace AND physical space when doing this.
6. Okay. Now that you’ve got your Answers, sit down with them and start organizing your information. What questions do you want to answer first? Does one question lead into another? What ones NEED to be answered first for the paper to make sense? Whatever you come up with, open a new doc and WRITE THAT. We’re STILL NOT WORRIED ABOUT FORMAT.
7. Throw your citations together. For the sake of time and sanity, use a generator. Some papers/etc online already have the citations you need readily available; USE THEM. Open a doc and paste your citations in. Most word processors will have an alphabetize command. USE IT. Citation format depends on the paper format, so make sure you’re familiar with it. Purdue Owl is a FABULOUS recourse for this.
8. Back to the questions. Now that you’ve got those and their answers, start formatting them into paragraphs. This is where we start formatting.
9. Put your paragraphs in order and add transition sentences.
10. Clean it all up where necessary, and DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING about your formatting.
11. take a fuckin big ol breath because you’re DONE