When you go to college and have to turn in regular term papers, it is very easy to fall into the habit of procrastinating rather than just getting on with them. There can be a number of reasons for procrastinating; you may be worried about meeting quality expectations, you may be too busy with your social life, or you may simply not know where to start. Whatever your reason, there are a number of strategies that you can adopt to avoid procrastinating on college term papers.
Know your deadlines
One reason for procrastinating is simply that you don’t know when the deadline for your paper is and can therefore comfort yourself with the idea that you still have weeks to complete it, only to find out that it is due in a couple of days’ time. Avoid this by knowing exactly when your assignments are due right from the beginning of the semester. It won’t necessarily stop you from leaving your research until the last minute, but it will at least mean you have no excuse for ‘forgetting’ what you need to do.
Work out why you are procrastinating
Finding out why you are procrastinating is a way of dealing with any issues you have face on. It could simply be that you are unconfident about your ability to produce a quality piece of work, especially if this is the first term paper you have to submit. If that is the case, then do what you can to put your mind at rest. There may be classes that you can attend to get a better idea of what is expected. If it is your social life that is getting in the way, then you need to work out a way of keeping it under control.
Ensure you can access the material you need
If you ensure that you have everything you need to complete the paper, then you are far more likely to get on with it. Don’t forget that your classmates will also want access to the books and journals that you need from the library, so don’t leave it so late that you have to compete with them to get the materials you need. This also ensures that you have plenty of time to ask for help if you need it, rather than rushing through it all the night before a deadline and realising that you are missing chunks of information.
Seek support from classmates
Depending on how you work and the nature of your assignment, it may be a good idea to get together with classmates for support. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you write the paper together, because you will all have different angles that you want to take. However, you can encourage each other to sit down and get working and then arrange to meet up for a coffee or drink later on. Then you can share any problems you come across, which will prevent you from thinking that you are the only one to have them.
Once you have persuaded yourself to sit down and get on with the paper, you need to have an environment in which you can work without distractions. If you choose to work in your room, but your friends are constantly coming round, or your roommate insists on watching television without headphones, then you won’t be able to concentrate properly and may well use it as an excuse to do something else. Instead, go to the library, or find an empty classroom and get on with what you have to do.
Set yourself achievable goals
If you set yourself goals that are unattainable, procrastinating will be much more tempting than trying to reach your goals. If, however, you set goals such as reading the relevant background material one day, writing a draft another, then setting aside several study sessions for writing and editing, you will be much more likely to achieve them. Once you have achieved one goal, you will be much more determined to achieve the next one and the next one, until your paper is ready to hand in.
You need to get to grips with writing college term papers as soon as you can. The more you practice, the better you will be – especially if you do what you can to avoid procrastination.