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Breaking Down Large Projects Into Manageable Chunks

An Example

What is your project and when is it due?

  • 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
  • backwards. 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.