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Updated by jill_robinson on Oct 07, 2019
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Top 10 Steps to Prepare Yourself for Writing Scientific Work

As a student, sooner or later you will come to the point where you have to write a term paper. Those require extensive work, research and are particularly time-consuming. For this reason, it is important to start early. This guide will show you the most important steps, from research to finish the paper.


1: Preparation: The Right Approach

1: Preparation: The Right Approach

Have you ever thought about the meaningfulness of memorizing the course material in no time, just for a single exam? In a scientific paper, a very different approach is needed. You deal with a problem-oriented topic and have enough time to show what you can do. Your own thoughts are in demand! First, you have to look for literature that is relevant to the topic in order to become familiar with the matter.


2: Develop a Question and Topic

If you cant think of anything, leaf through your notes from the seminar. Perhaps during the semester, you noticed an interesting aspect in papers, literature or a lecture.


3: The Search

Now it's time to do some research. You have to find out what has already been researched on your topic. Which aspects are particularly controversial? Are there recent articles, monographs or anthologies on the subject? Which are the standard works that you can not get past? You do not have to read through everything you find. Especially when writing a case study, quite reading is usually enough to capture the relevant content and theses.


4: Narrow down and Set the Topic

You now know the most important experts, points of contention and most important publications on your topic - that's why you're ready to commit yourself to a specific question. Do not forget: you are writing a case study as a student. Nobody expects you to be nominated for the Nobel Prize. Nevertheless, you must critically enter your subject: there is no blunt essay on a major topic that is merely a synopsis of scientific positions. Filter out a particular aspect that interests you and commit yourself to methods, because it depends on your own reasoning in the work.


5: Make a Schedule

5: Make a Schedule

The scientific paper must be integrated into your learning plan, so you do not a bailout. How many days you actually need is different for everyone. But keep in mind that research, structure, and correction take at least as much time as writing itself. Avoid long breaks so that you stay on the topic.


6: Create the Outline

In order to prevent chaos, to stick to the point and to maintain an overall structured text, you need to create an outline. Of course, it's not set in stone: many reorganize the structure during the writing process.


7: Structure and Study Sources

You bring structure into the literature by sorting and reading them for relevance to your topic. A mind map with your question in the center can help. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need for a long list of references. When reading, always take notes of the most important aspects of the texts. This will speed up your writing process later because you can immediately check what you wanted to quote.


8: Write the First Version of Your Paper

Now you can see the individual points of your structure with text. First of all, it's about putting the rough draft on paper. Do not worry about every sentence, but write down your thoughts and arguments as they come to your mind. Individual formulations are part of the finishing touch that you make towards the end. During the writing process, you will read and rework the text over and over again. Make sure not to lose sight of the common thread, but do not force yourself to be too rigid.


9: Plagiarism Check

Often, plagiarism does not come with an intention to deceive. On the contrary: In many cases, it happens without intention and unconsciously. You can simply have forgotten to label some statements with the footnote that was actually written down separately. It will be easy to find plagiarism because most universities use online plagiarism software, which automatically synchronizes your work with hundreds of thousands of sources.


10: Proofreading, Print, Submit!

Every paper can have small spelling mistakes, bad sentence constructions or spelling mistakes. After proofreading you check again, whether you've followed the formalities to the layout exactly. These include the most common presets, such as font size, line spacing, and a specific font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Often there are also precise references to the citation, margins, and title page.



This guide shows that with the right preparation, a plan and time management, anyone can write a scientific paper. Of course, it is still important to do enough research to create a high-quality term paper. However, 50% depending on the specifications, the structure, and the preparation.