Everyone has different learning patterns, different thinking modules which is based on their accumulated education from youth. Sometimes you’ve learned something, you just haven’t tried to collect and organize them to become yours. Therefore, teaching or discussing to other people is always a way to examine how well you learned the material. Before I started to write my proposal, I thought I know nothing and no idea what to write, even though I’ve already spent more than one year to be familiar with this topic. 30 pages with double space, how could I do that?
Just as the cartoon I showed in “Life could go Tougher and Tougher… Try to enjoy your Small Compliment everyday!“. I got no confidence on myself at first, but I knew I must do it, so let’s get it, man! Here’s 3 Strategies for proposal writing!!
- Collect all the papers you’ve read before and made some useful comments on each of them. Dr. Goodson, one of the professor teaching academic writing, had ever said that “as an efficient writer, you should be able to read every material only once, cite the core ideas and the information you need in an date-sequenced file.” So, try to have a nice table by either excel or word file to record everything you need to know from each paper. But try not be too much, make them short!
- Make a time frame, even you don’t feel perfectly organized, start writing in a certain period of time EVERYDAY! Avoid any distractions, save this period of time yourself alone and just focus on it! A “certain time” means a fixed time frame, like 8-10AM EVERYDAY, it depends on when do you think your most efficient time for writing. There’re several functions about this strategy,
- First, because you write it EVERYDAY, you will save the warm-up time for your daily writing.
- Second, believe it or not, there’s a moment you’ll feel you can’t wait until your writing time comes or you can’t finish your contents within this time frame. STOP! You still can’t ruin your rule, just write the daft on your notebook quickly, and when tomorrow come, you’ll find how crazy your writing progress will be.
- Third, clearly separate “generating” and “editing” steps. While generating ideas, contents, just go for it. Forget the grammar, sentence thing, just focus on what’s the contents you want in this paragraph. After completing generating, then you can start the editing. Editing & formatting could take much longer than generating, that’s true!
- Ask for Feedback! This is especially important. If you need to practice for presentation, why don’t you need to practice for writing? It’s a problem nowadays, after we rushing turned in our final report, there’s no feedback from your professor. So, it’s just like an one way road, the progress could be so limited. So, try to find your colleagues, professional writing centers for some feedback will be really helpful!
As my experience, these would definitely NOT be 3-EASY-Strategies at all. You need more practices on this to become an efficient writer!
After one week, I started with “Significant Aims” part, tried to squeeze out three specific aims and figured out all the cause effects, the possible hypothesis and the goal I wanna reach. It’s weird to think about all these things after one-year’s experiment, ideally I should clarify all these questions at first. But because of terribly lacking of the background and the experiment experience in bio area as well as the pressure from the experimental progress, it forced me to do something before I fully understand the whole direction. I just kind of focused too much in every details but lost the whole picture! So it’s ridiculous that this part gave me a hard time to tell people what’s my motivation, the creative ideas and the value of my experiment. Shame on me!
After the first part, I felt more comfortable to other parts, it just took time to fill all the contents in! And my time distribution was shown below, wow, it’s my 77-hour baby! And, Gee, I did complete a 29-pages proposal with 1.5 space, haha, still felt proud of myself!