Sam Fluharty

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We've come up with a useful 5-step planning method to make your thesis writing process more efficient and smooth. The plan is best used at the stage when you've gathered the necessary literature and resources, and it's time to organise them and start writing, adding your own thoughts.

Step 1: Spend less time at your desk!

"What???" you ask, but think about it, how much of the time you spend in front of your laptop is taken up with browsing write my paper for me Facebook, YouTube and (most dangerously) Pinterest? If you set a daily goal to spend no more than 1/4 of your day creating, it's much easier to force yourself to close a useless app when you see that you're running out of time.

Step 2: Stick to the two-hour rule!

Most people have a maximum of two hours of creative time a day, which is when they can produce genuinely useful content for their writing. This most often falls sometime after breakfast and before lunch, so use your most productive hours to write your thesis first thing in the morning. Of course, you may find that the afternoon is your most productive time, but once you've got that down, be sure to schedule your writing around then, and if it breaks, if it breaks, sit down at your computer and get started before you open anything else on your computer. Even if you have to scroll through emails, only deal with the most important ones, and save the rest for later.

Step 3: Cut to the chase!

When you're on a tight deadline, it's a good idea to focus on the essentials straight away, as you can write the introduction, summary and transition paragraphs later, and these are the things you most want to stall on, shape and formulate, but don't actually get on with. Make 'snippets', i.e. align your outline-like thoughts as tiny seeds in a paragraph, which you can then grow and align into larger units as your sentence develops, and elaborate on in more depth as you rewrite. Don't worry, if you can't see where the idea will fit in yet, it will find its place!

Step 4: Write as fast as you can!

We think while we write, and we slow ourselves down most by worrying about correct word choice and phrasing rather than allowing ourselves to make mistakes that can be corrected during the rereading process. If you can't find the right phrase, just use a similar one, don't let it slow you down, it will come back to you later anyway. Use this free writing in 10-15 minute units, then take a few minutes break to reread and correct them. Then ideas suitable for the next paragraph will come in and you can start the next 10-15 minute unit. If you follow this tactic for two hours, you can probably write more than 2000 words for your thesis, but afterwards, be sure to take a long break, stretch, get some exercise, walk the dog, pop out for a coffee.

Step 5: Let it settle, then write again

Because you wrote in the previous step on the fly, without filtering, some of the 2000 words will probably be useless, so after your break of a few hours, reading through your work from a fresh perspective will give you an idea of what's useful and what's unnecessary. After re-reading and editing, however, you'll get the 1000-1500 words that will really move your essay forward.

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