7 Ways to Pace Yourself through a Paper # 6 – Beware of breathers, plateaus and other obstacles 按部就班寫作論文的七大建議之六:小心寫作的喘息、高原期和其他障礙

A writer peering ahead at an academic writing project should respect the task. It not only will require research and writing abilities, it will tax the writer’s endurance and concentration. Learning to become efficient and self-regulating as a researcher and writer is the reason for this series, “7 Ways to Pace Yourself through a Paper.” Each of the suggestions will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.
若您即將致力於學術寫作專題,應該好好重視這項工作。這不僅需要研究與寫作技巧,也仰賴毅力與專注。「按部就班寫作論文的七大步驟」將教您學會如何自律,提高研究與寫作的效率。每項建議都會刊登在 TPS 粉絲專頁,並在最後集結於 TPS 學術電子報中。

Way # 6 – Beware of breathers, plateaus and other obstacles

An academic writing project can be a slog. The first stage of it sometimes produces anxiety, and only later as the work progresses does exhilaration set in. But at some point the project takes on all the characteristics of work, and a writer begins to think in terms of taking a breather. Beware of breathers. The need to take a breather is a signal that a pace of a project is not sustainable. A correct pace is steady, but not exhausting; regular breathing should be sufficient for the job.

A plateau is another danger point. A plateau occurs when a writer completes a section of research or of writing—and stops. He has climbed a foothill and wants to gaze back upon it. Thus does premature satisfaction become a barrier to progress. It becomes an excuse to hang around rather than press ahead. While interim goals are important in a research-writing project, they are way stations, not ultimate destinations. Dawdling over them leads nowhere.

In short, don’t let a good start on a paper go to waste because you lost your way. Don’t get too satisfied too early. Clearly, solid research by itself is not enough. Neither is a great lead, a content-rich middle section, or a well-organized conclusion. Succeeding in any one of these does not constitute overall success. A professor looks at the complete package, and a writer must do the same. So, take a deep breath, take pride in good work done on a section, and then move on.


Posted at 2012-09-18 11:21:31

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