5 Good Deadline-Meeting Habits # 5 五個養成準時交稿的好習慣之五

Authors of academic papers have other things to do. In the general busyness of academia, the deadline for a paper to be handed in or published can get overlooked. The subsequent scramble to complete the paper on time can be painful. Painless deadline-meeting can be learned like any other habit. This series will describe some habits that not only make deadlines less threatening but can improve the quality of the papers themselves. Each of the habits will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.

Good Habit # 5 – Give yourself some margin (to start over!)
好習慣之五:給你自己一點緩和的空間 (有時間重頭再來)

It is said that the best laid plans of mice and men are for nought when the unexpected occurs. That being true as well for writers of academic papers, it is wise to include the prospect of failure in your planning. By doing so, you virtually eliminate the possibility of failure. The truth is, a conscientious scholar-author will not fail to deliver a paper by the due date. Such people cannot countenance the idea of failing. Yet unless they recognize that circumstances beyond their control can indeed make hash of their plans, they might have to scramble to submit a weak, thin paper.

So, yes, failure is possible for any academic writer if only failure to uphold a standard of excellence. The way around this is to build into a writing schedule an awareness that a writing path first taken might prove to lead nowhere, requiring a retreat to a more fruitful one. Sometimes it means a subject must be approached from another angle using a whole different set of sources. Sometimes it means a premise proves faulty and must be adjusted to fit the facts. But occasionally it means a subject turns out to be thin grist and must be tossed for something more substantial.

The solution, I repeat, is awareness. One can only allot so much time to a paper, after all; it is not possible to always leave lots of time to start over. What is possible is to constantly monitor the viability of a project and the rate of progress in completing it. By so doing, a writer can recognize early on that he is caught up in a false start. Are the early sources not as productive as anticipated? Red flag. Is early material not substantiating the whole operating theory of a paper? Red flag. Are evidentiary contradictions piling up? Red flag. Evaluate as you research and retreat if necessary.
我再次強調,避免研究失敗的方法就是在計畫研究時就考慮將來失敗的可能性。 每篇論文都有交稿的期限,學者們終究無法一直重頭開始,但是你可以監督你的研究進度,並安排時間表讓你可以按照進度進行。如此一來你才能盡早發現錯誤,盡早處理。以下情形為當您作研究時需要提高警覺之處:初步的研究發現是否為你所預期的?初步發現的證據不支持你的最終論點?或者相互矛盾的證據不斷增加?當你遇到上述情形時,如果有必要就請重新衡量你的研究。及早發現便能及時調整與修改論文了。


Posted at 2013-07-16 22:32:50

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