Time Budget for Essay #5

This is an absolute truth for students:

If you wait until the last minute to write a paper, you will be tempted to cheat and your final product will be terrible.

With this thought in mind, I have adapted the writing schedule from the Budgeting Your Time to Complete a Research Paper website to fit our situation. Following this advice will not guarantee you a good grade, but it is certainly better than trying to slam a paper together in the last hour before class begins.

The Synthesis paper is longer than the previous papers and requires an MLA Works Cited page, so the times below are longer than the previous schedules. (You should also notice that this schedule assumes you will not be working during Easter Break.)

Essay #5: Synthesis

  1. Selecting a topic (includes preliminary reading): 3 days. Monday, April 1 – Wednesday, April 3
  2. Finding something to say (finding and evaluating sources, note taking): 6 days. Thursday, April 4 – Tuesday, April 9
  3. Designing the paper (creating a thesis statement, choosing a structure, identifying subtopics, outlining): 1 day. Wednesday, April 10
  4. Writing first draft: 6 days. Thursday, April 11 – Tuesday, April 16
  5. Writing final draft: 3 days (with a break for Easter). Wednesday, April 17 – Tuesday, April 23
  6. Finishing touches (Works Cited page, final grammar/spelling check, format check, etc.): 2 days. Wednesday, April 24 – Thursday, April 25

The paper is due at the start of class on Friday, April 26.


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Revised 12/24/18 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: callen@ashland.edu.