Update 3 | Illegal Abortion in Argentina

Yesterday marked the beginning of the end for my research project. I have one week left to synthesize my findings and write my research paper. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at this point about the sheer amount of information I have collected through my research this summer and the daunting task of putting it all into words by my Friday deadline. It has been very difficult to motivate myself to start the writing process, but hopefully I will get on a roll once the writing commences. I think in hindsight a more effective writing strategy would have been to write the paper in chunks throughout the summer and then return at the end to tie everything together and add my analysis. Instead, I’ve left myself in the position where I have to remember and write about topics that I haven’t read about since the first week of June – which seems like a very long time ago.

Luckily, I did have the foresight at the onset of this research to take meticulous notes of my readings and maintain effective organization. This is my saving grace because, as of this point, I have read over 60 academic sources, and it would be nearly impossible for me to recall all of the finer details and nuanced arguments of each one without my notes.

For all of you future researchers out there, please learn from my mistakes and successes to save yourselves a real struggle. The bottom line is: don’t wait until the last week to start writing, do take very detail notes throughout the process.

Comments

  1. Writing the paper is certainly a struggle! But it’s important to remember that all research is fundamentally a learning process, and I’m glad that you’ve found a way to proceed. I found that writing an outline was helpful because it helped organize many ideas and sub-arguments in a way that suggests how the data and background-work/ literature review fit together. I’ve also found it helpful to write out of order, as counterintuitive as that seems. By writing a few key paragraphs, I was able to add ideas and paragraphs both above and below it because as it provided a nice center point from which to grow the paper outwards from.

  2. rjschwartz says:

    Hi! I definitely relate to how daunting it is to compile all of your research into a final product. I didn’t quite read 60 papers (that’s awesome!) but I was also very overwhelmed when I had to organize all of my thoughts into an organized paper. Other than your notes, do you have any other tips for how to compile your finished product? I hope the end of your research goes well!

  3. rparthasarathy says:

    Hi there! I wanted to just echo what you said as far as taking detailed notes go – it always feels like a pain at the time, but similarly I’ve done some seriously dense readings this summer and probably the only thing worse than trawling through them the first time would have been to have to go back and re-read them because I didn’t take notes my first go-round. This sounds like a fascinating topic – I’m really excited to see what comes out of your analysis! Looking forward to seeing it at the SRS presentations to come 🙂