A One-Year Plan

Begin in mid-August and count eight weeks to the fall break. There should be another eight-week stretch up to around Christmas. Then count off eight weeks before and eight weeks after Easter. You now have four eight-week periods that cover the whole school year. 32 weeks in all.

Make a rough estimate for each period of how many hours you can devote to writing. Not to thinking or researching, but to actually, physically writing your papers. How many hours will you be “at the machine”, typing? If your estimate is under 20 you are either too busy or not ambitious enough. If it’s over 120 you are probably not thinking straight. You should aim to write between half an hour and three hours every day, five days a week.

Okay, now take your rough estimate for each period and multiply it by two. This gives you the amount a paragraphs you can write (27 minutes at a time). And then go on and multiply this number by 200, which is the maximum amount a words you can write (limiting each paragraph to at most 200 words). Finally, divide this number by 8000, or whatever the standard length of the papers published in your field might be. This gives the amount of full drafts you can write (or rewrite) during each period, i.e., the amount of paper-sized texts you can produce. Now, add it all up and make a table:


I wonder if I need to explain how this might be useful…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *