The Slow Research Writing Process

Putting one’s thinking and research into words could be really taxing; however, beyond this, there is a need to ensure that the research paper is well-written, containing clearly communicated information. Typically, earlier researchers (students) are often required to research a topic, acquire new knowledge and perfectly put that knowledge into words within a few weeks. Not only is this burdensome, but even professional researchers also cannot be this efficient and productive within such a short time frame. Also, this is not the right approach to research writing.

Research writing needs a slow writing approach; earlier researchers actually need more time. Not all earlier researcher desires to become a scientist, so an overly rushed work might be of no value to them in the end. On the other hand, the research process, if it affords them enough time, could benefit them knowledge-wise, even beyond that individual course. Thus, the summative research paper should be assigned early in the semester. A slow writing approach has the potential to bring out the best in them and help them develop self-regulatory skills; giving them ample time will afford them the opportunity to get actively engaged in seeking to understand the work and sort salient information from irrelevant ones. This will produce results that cramming definitely cannot. Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage one’s emotional state; it enables earlier researchers to take control of their learning via writing. Cramming rarely results in retained knowledge and in fact, the hurry-scurry is usually apparent, eventually.

So, comparing the two manners of approach with respect to duration, getting earlier researchers to research and put their findings into words within a very short time span, which is the typical approach, is poor and ineffective because they end up without a firm grasp of the knowledge they intend to communicate, and thus, submit rush jobs. Giving earlier researchers quality time to write their research paper, on the other hand, helps them to be able to:

  • Carefully consider the topic that has been assigned,

  • Narrow the focus, giving essential details,

  • Do effective background research,

  • Convey their arguments, methods, and findings in a clear and intuitive way, in writing, and

  • Edit their paper and properly cite their sources.

Though it requires more work, unlike rush jobs, the slow research writing process ensures that the aim is beyond just having more time to complete the research paper, but much more, effectively reinforcing their learning.

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