Breaking Down Large Projects Into Manageable Pieces

What is your project and when is it due?

  • Project: 15-page research paper
  • Due: May 10th

What different things do you need to do to complete this project?

  • Write down every single specific task you can think of.
  • Free write to generate ideas/questions.
  • Meet with your professor to discuss your topic.
  • Meet with a reference librarian to find out about the relevant resources.
  • Locate, read, and take notes on the relevant literature.
  • Complete a rough draft of your paper.
  • Make an appointment at the Writing Center.
  • Discuss your draft with a friend, a writing tutor or the professor.
  • Revise your draft, remembering that your thesis might have evolved during your writing process.

What is your plan for completing your project?

  • Put the list of what you need to do in the order in which they should be completed.
  • Assign deadline dates for each task, starting with the final deadline and working backward. Remember to give yourself generous amounts of time for each task— things often take longer than you think.
  • When you have time to work on your project, you’ll know exactly what you have to do, rather than wasting time figuring out where to start.