Writing Topic: Common Barriers to Thesis Completion

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Strategies to keep you on trackSample schedule for the 1st month of reading/writingVisual Maps and the Reverse OutlineEditing Questionnaire

STRATEGIES TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK

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It’s important to set goals and strategies for yourself while you’re writing every day, and more importantly, that the goals be achievable. Some strategies that work with students and faculty are listed below:

Free Writing
Goal Setting
Positive Reinforcement
Create a Time and Place to Work
80/60/40
Helpful Links

SAMPLE SCHEDULE

FOR FIRST MONTH OF READING/WRITING

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Make Free Writing a routine, try out some Writing Strategies, then stick with one. Remember to reward yourself with small breaks, but most importantly, keep at it.

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

1

5mins Free Writing

TRY WRITING STRATEGY #1

*GO FOR A WALK/TAKE A BREAK

2

5 mins Free Writing

TRY WRITING STRATEGY #1

3

5 mins Free Writing

TRY WRITING STRATEGY #1

4

5 mins Free Writing

TRY WRITING STRATEGY #2

*SEE YOUR FRIENDS

5

5 mins Free Writing

TRY WRITING STRATEGY #2

6

5 mins Free Writing

Decide on a Strategy

* SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CAT

7 REST DAY

Accomplished:

1 rough outline

12-15 pages of rough writing

8

5 mins Free Writing
Reading
Writing Strategy X

*GO FOR A WALK/TAKE A BREAK

9

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

10

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

11
5 mins FreeWriting Strategy X
12

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

*SEE A MOVIE

13

5 mins Free Writing
TRY THE REVERSE OUTLINE

14 REST DAY

Accomplished:

1 working outline

15-20 pages of rough writing

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

15

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X
TRY SOME VISUAL MAPS

16

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

*READ FOR PLEASURE

17

5 mins Free Writing

 

Writing Strategy X

18

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

* SEE A CONCERT

19

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

20

5 mins Free Writing

Revisit and revise outline

21 REST DAY

Accomplished:
First draft outline

20-25 pages

22

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

*SEE YOUR FRIENDS

23

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

24

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

*LEARN TO KNIT

25

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

26

5 mins Free Writing

Writing Strategy X

 

*SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR CAT

27

5 mins Free Writing

Revisit and revise outline

TREAT YOURSELF!

28 REST DAY

Accomplished:

25-30 pages

TRY THE EDITING QUESTIONNAIRE

 

VISUAL MAPS AND THE REVERSE OUTLINE:

MAKING SENSE OF INFORMATION

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When reading for research, we need to read with a dialogue in mind. We need to be continually asking ourselves if the information we’re reading is useful to our central argument or interest. This isn’t easy, and students can often get lost in continuous reading. Some ways to stay on track are taking breaks every so often and taking notes on how the information relates to your interest. Not enough time to write all those words? Use visual representations along the margins instead:

 Venn diagram comparing two itemsupside down triangular chart showing most important, less important, and least important information

 

Mind Mapping
The Reverse Outline

Adapted from Craft Of Research by Booth, Colomb & Williams

EDITING QUESTIONNAIRE

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Try completing both of these sections sequentially.

From Barbery Nyce Dougherty, Composing Choices for Writers McGraw-Hill 1985

When I Write, I...
Revising a Draft

 

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