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  1. #11
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by /DG/ View Post
    Honestly, I did this for years and the only time I had ever gotten a bad grade on my papers is when I took a class on Moby Dick (I have no idea why the hell I picked the class). Granted, my education focused on science-based courses and I don't know that I've ever written a paper longer than 10 pages.
    I am a physicist, and have often written papers longer than 10 pages, including a thesis and dissertation, as well as several papers for non-science classes in college. One of my favorites was a comparison of three medieval plays about St. Nicholas, due right before Christmas. That one ran probably close to 20 pgs. Now I occasionally have to write reports longer than 10 pages, though most technical papers are shorter than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by phobik View Post
    This is, ideally, the de facto way to do it right, ime. /thread
    I'm glad you find it a productive approach. I should note, though, that I find it very Ni-Te oriented, so it may not work as well for everyone.

    A case in point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I've always envied the ability to create an outline as a first step. It makes the whole process infinitely more difficult for me. It's actually easier for me to write the paper first, and then create an outline of the finished paper. (Which is what I need to do when prefacing the paper with an abstract - an outline helps reduce it to bare bones for the abstract).
    No reason this approach can't work for someone who finds it more in keeping with how they operate, especially if they get good results from it.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    One of my favorites was a comparison of three medieval plays about St. Nicholas, due right before Christmas.
    That sounds cool. I'd ask you if you'd post it so we could read it, but people plagiarize papers like that off the internet.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am a physicist, and have often written papers longer than 10 pages, including a thesis and dissertation, as well as several papers for non-science classes in college. One of my favorites was a comparison of three medieval plays about St. Nicholas, due right before Christmas. That one ran probably close to 20 pgs. Now I occasionally have to write reports longer than 10 pages, though most technical papers are shorter than that.


    I'm glad you find it a productive approach. I should note, though, that I find it very Ni-Te oriented, so it may not work as well for everyone.

    A case in point:



    No reason this approach can't work for someone who finds it more in keeping with how they operate, especially if they get good results from it.
    I'd agree it's heavy on the Te side, as did most of engineering/academia; NeTi is more about a free form exploration, which in the scope of producing a a paper fits more within a specific part of the execution, like doing research. I do find the documentation aspect quite tedious/not particularly interesting in itself.

  4. #14
    The Bat Man highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix31 View Post
    If you are in college or were in college at some point, what is/was your process for writing academic papers? How did you organize your information and approach the project? I am just curious if different types approach it in different ways.
    Basically I just do what @Z Buck McFate does. I would start with a bunch of research then just start writing The sooner I get started on this, the better it gets. The best thing I ever wrote, I spent a month on- revisiting and refining for weeks. That was a letter actually. I have used outlines on occasion to get some ideas of main points as well but don't always do that.

  5. #15
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by /DG/ View Post
    I'm not quite sure what kind of point you're trying to make. My method really was just for an undergrad getting by. I've never been a PhD student nor have I have had to write papers for work.
    The point, which I have mentioned elsewhere a few times, is that even people in scientific fields sometimes have to do quite a bit of writing, even as undergrads, something which I did not expect and found a bit discouraging.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Basically I just do what @Z Buck McFate does. I would start with a bunch of research then just start writing The sooner I get started on this, the better it gets. The best thing I ever wrote, I spent a month on- revisiting and refining for weeks. That was a letter actually. I have used outlines on occasion to get some ideas of main points as well but don't always do that.
    I find it really interesting that our approaches are so different. Once I finish a paper, I do very little revisiting or revising. Even at work now, comments from coauthors and supervisors are usually fairly superficial stylistic things that could go either way. I incorporate them most of the time just to be collegial.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.

  6. #16
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by /DG/ View Post
    Well, it's not that I never wrote papers. That wasn't really what I meant. I was trying to say that scientific papers are a bit of a different story than humanity-focused papers. So long as my facts were straight and reasoning was sound, there was never a reason for me to do poorly on a paper.

    But if you're writing papers for, say, a literature class, the professor is going to be a hell of a lot more critical in every single aspect of your paper.
    Most undergrads don't write actual scientific papers, except for lab reports, which can get quite involved. Yes, the content is quite different from humanities or social science papers, which I mentioned briefly in my first post here. I still follow the same outlining and writing process, though. I do find these papers easier to write. I don't think a literature professor will be any more critical than one in sciences, though, the critique will just focus on different things.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.

  7. #17
    Somber and irritated cascadeco's Avatar
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    It has been a long, long time, but once I decided the topic I wanted to write about, and argument I was presenting (which took the most time), it was then just a matter of finding enough material to support it. I would go through the resources to find the best quotes, and probably at the same time an outline would begin to form. Maybe it is because the outline format was how I was taught and was expected of us, but too, I think that naturally fit me anyway, but I made detailed enough outlines such that once the outline was done, the writing was incredibly easy, it was just basically filling in the blanks. Granted, this method is a lot more upfront work and just 'thinking', but once it was done the writing was a piece of cake.

    I would always write the whole thing out on paper, crossing out, etc, then typed once it was done. Writing and editing while typing was never desirable for me, it seemed very...unreal; like it was impossible to tell I was making progress or have any sense of structure. It's probably a visual and sensory thing. Hate using the delete button, copy paste, I like pencil or pen on paper, scratching things out.
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  8. #18
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    Very similar to Z Buck.

    I research whatever is necessary to make mental connections and tangents, basically creating related chunks in my head which serves as a rough outline in that it organizes the info and deeper analyses.

    I then write from start to finish without a written outline, but may have some sloppy notes with scribbles and connecting lines all over that I use for reference. I fine tune and edit and rearrange as I go. I find that stream of consciousness writing is my natural preferred method of expression and creation and consider rigid outlines oppressively stuffy and counter-creative.
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  9. #19
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    I have never made an outline in my entire life. I don't do rough drafts either.

    I once told my roommate I can write an "A" essay in 2 hours and she was so shocked haha. But I've had so many finals that consist of writing an essay in 2 hours that it was inevitable I either learned to swim or just die.

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  10. #20
    Senior Member phoenix31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I've always envied the ability to create an outline as a first step. It makes the whole process infinitely more difficult for me. It's actually easier for me to write the paper first, and then create an outline of the finished paper. (Which is what I need to do when prefacing the paper with an abstract - an outline helps reduce it to bare bones for the abstract).
    I think an outline is definitely very useful for making sure that you are proceeding in an orderly fashion and making all of the important and necessary points. I don't actually write out the whole paper first, but I collect all of my random chunks of information that I want to use and organize an outline around them instead of starting with an outline. And then I finish writing everything.

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