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按部就班寫作thesis的七大建議

發布于2020-09-22 作者:留學寫作網 閱讀:
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. 
若您即將致力于學術寫作專題,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,并在最后集結于 TPS 學術電子報中。 

Way # 1 – Recognize pacing and admit you need it
建議一:了解按部就班的重要

Academic paper projects are not 100-meter dashes. They are marathons. They require intellectual and physical stamina. A writer who understands this stands a far better chance of completing a paper with the same levels of energy and inspiration shown at the beginning of a project. This is a significant advantage, because finishing a paper well is as vital as starting it properly. Burning out, getting off track, lowering standards—these are the results of a writer not pacing himself.
學術論文專題不是百米賽跑,而是馬拉松,必須持續投入智力與體力。寫作時若能了解這點,就比較有機會,能持續發揮專題寫作之初的精力與靈感,完成整篇論文。這是個很大的好處,因為有個精彩的結尾與起頭出色一樣重要。如果無法按部就班地前進,往往落得精疲力竭、偏離路徑、草率了事。

Returning to the running metaphor, sprinters are as strong as long-distance runners. They are as skilled. But they are not conditioned to endure an extended run. In the same way, wonderful essay exam-takers are not necessarily adept at in-depth writing projects. They might lack research skills, the ability to write complex explanations and analyses, or the talent to stay on course over weeks and months of exploring a subject. This is why academic writing assignments are called projects.
回到跑步的暗喻。短跑選手和長跑選手一樣,他們強健有力,也一樣技巧精湛,但他們卻不適合長跑。同樣地,短文比賽的常勝軍也不一定善于深入的寫作專題,他們可能缺乏研究技巧,無法應付復雜的闡釋與分析,也不擅于持續幾周甚至幾個月,堅持到底探討一個主題。所以學術寫作才稱為「專題」。

So the wisest approach to a “project” is to realize that planning is required to ensure that the project does not overwhelm the writer during its middle or late stages. To acknowledge this possibility is a sign of maturity as a writer. Though you as a writer might be especially bright, brilliance will not overcome disorganization or lack of fortitude. Whereas intellectual vigor coupled to a sustainable work pace can carry a writer across the finish line in a winning effort. 
因此,進行一個「專題」最聰明的辦法,就是知道必須仰賴規劃,以確保作者不會在專題途中或最后關頭江郎才盡,半途而廢。能了解這一點,就表示作者成熟了。即使在寫作時特別文思泉涌,也無法以才氣克服漫無章法與缺乏毅力的弱點。寫作時除了盡心思考,還必須結合可長可久的工作步調,才能志在必得,沖過勝利的終點線。

Way # 2 – Embrace deadlines and use them
建議二:善用截止期限

Every project of every kind—physical or intellectual—has a starting date and a finishing date. The author of a paper can’t begin until a topic is assigned or approved, at which point the clock starts ticking. A date to turn in the paper also is given, which is when the work must be completed. While these two mileposts are helpful in guiding the overall progress of a paper, they are too far apart to keep a writer on course. Interim deadlines are the critical benchmarks.
所有類型的每個專題,無論是必須動腦或動手,都有開始與截止的日期。題目被指派或通過核準后,就能開始寫作論文,從那時候起時鐘就滴滴答答開始計時了。繳交論文的日期,也就是工作該完成的時候。開始與截止就像兩個里程碑,有助引導論文的整體進展,但這兩個時間相距太遠,無法幫助論文寫作按計劃進行。期中截止期限反而是更重要的指標。

The midpoint deadlines may vary according to the kind of paper being written. They also might be assigned by a professor with the expectation that the writer will show evidence at each checkpoint of continuing progress. Or a self-reliant writer might take the initiative to establish interim deadlines of his own. Whichever is the case, the interim goals—research done, outline created, first draft completed, and so on—can keep a writer steadily moving ahead.
隨著寫作的論文類型不同,期中截止期限也不一樣。期限可能由教授訂立,希望學生在每個時間點證明論文有持續的進展;若是獨立寫作論文,作者也可以主動訂立自己的期中截止期限。不論是哪一種期限,目標或許是完成研究工作、寫出大綱、完成論文初稿等等,都能讓寫作者不斷向前邁進。

A seasoned writer will see these interim deadlines as stepping stones, as helpful indicators of a project being on schedule… or not. They let a writer know when he can take a breather from the project or when he needs to put in some overtime. By maintaining a steady pace, the writer will not have to make up ground in a hurry. That kind of crunch-time research and writing should be avoided because it never results in a writer’s best work. Use interim deadlines to pace yourself.
對經驗豐富的作者來說,這些期中截止期限就像踏腳石,是種有用的指標,能知道專題是如期進行,或是進度落后。作者可以從中知道自己可以喘口氣休息一下,或者需要再加把勁。如果有穩定的進展,就不必匆匆忙忙趕進度。論文研究與寫作應該避免急就章,因為這種結果必然不理想。期中截止期限能幫助你按部就班進行。

Way # 3 – Develop and employ systems
建議三:制定并善用有系統的方法

Writers of academic papers can be as guilty as any other kind of writer in believing that inspiration rules the creative process. While we should never underestimate how much inspiration can contribute to a creative enterprise, the fact is that perspiration and planning also are important to success. After all, creative geniuses whose brains deliver blinding flashes of inspiration often need their work systematically organized, edited, and prepared for publication.
寫作學術論文就像其他寫作一樣,如果你以為寫作主要仰賴靈感,那就大錯特錯了。雖然對于困難的創作來說,靈感確實不可忽視,但是要成功,辛勤工作與計劃也不可或缺。畢竟,創意天才即使腦中常閃現令人目眩神迷的靈光,但文章要發表,仍然需要有系統的組織、編輯與準備。

So even if you are a creative genius, your work will only be helped by becoming systematic in your approach to it. Like deadlines, systems are external aids through which a writer can channel his energy. Systems are like doors and stairs and sidewalks: They assist a writer in getting from Point A to Point E—the end. One such system is a work schedule. A writer who systematically works on a project for a set number of hours each designated work day is a disciplined worker.
所以,就算腦中靈感源源不絕,仍必須有系統地工作。有系統的方法就像截稿期限一樣,是種外在的機制,有助作者專注投入心力。有系統的方法就像一道道門、一節節階梯,以及一條條道路,讓你從起點甲地,通往終點戊地。時程規劃就是一種有系統的方法,讓你在每個固定的工作天,投入固定的時間,規律執行一項計劃,有紀律地工作。

Another system is organized research and note-taking. A researcher who flips willy-nilly through research volumes, making abstract notes on odd pieces of paper and in margins, is sure to waste time later revisiting the same text. The same is true of a researcher who doesn’t review his findings systematically each day to see where they are taking him. Such reviews can organize a paper in the mind. Being systematic is a key way to pace yourself and conserve your energy.
另一種有系統的方式,則是有組織地研究與作筆記。如果只是有一搭沒一搭地翻翻研究資料,隨便拿張紙或在書頁邊緣寫幾句模糊的筆記,之后必然得浪費時間修改這些筆記。同樣地,如果研究者沒有每天系統地回顧一下當天的發現,了解研究進展,日后也得多花時間。回顧研究發現能在心中組織論文。做事有系統,才能按部就班,節省心力。

Way # 4 – Know your writing strengths and weaknesses
建議四:了解自己寫作的長短處

The Greeks advised subsequent generations of mankind to “know thyself.” The adage acknowledges the difficulty an individual has in sorting through the many facets of his being and honestly acknowledging his character. We tend to make excuses or to wishfully inflate our abilities. An academic writer is no less prone to glossing over weaknesses. A long-term writing project is no place to fool oneself. Rather, it is when a writer should practice total self-honesty. 
希臘人有句忠告流傳后世:「了解你自己」。這句格言說明,一個人要了解自己的特性,坦白面對自己的個性,其實并不容易。人容易為自己找借口,或一廂情愿地夸大自己的能力,寫作學術文章時也不例外,傾向粉飾自己的缺點。但論文寫作需要花很長時間,就不能自欺欺人。此時,作者應該練習完全坦率面對自己的能力。

Do you have the imagination and predisposition to “see” the general outline of a paper as you research it? Some writers can easily extrapolate what they know and roughly project it into a finished written product before they ever begin the actual word-by-word creative process. Or maybe your strength is your vocabulary. If you are word rich, enrich your paper. (Be careful, though, not to lard your paper with so much erudite language that it begins to get in the way.)
研究時,是否有足夠的想象力與天賦,「看出」論文的全貌?有些研究者在逐字撰寫論文前,就能輕松從已知推斷論文完稿的樣貌。或者文采是你的強項?若你詞藻豐富,大可用來充實自己的論文(只是要小心,不要堆砌太多深奧的詞匯,以免妨礙閱讀)。

Just as important is to know your weaknesses. Do you have difficulty concentrating for effective lengths of time? Do you write half an hour and then take an hour’s break? This is a problem. Recognize it and either schedule plenty of time for the project or learn to lengthen your focus. Do you habitually and extensively rewrite? Plan to finish a first draft in time to allow for successive ones. In short, pace yourself according to your actual writing skills and habits, not imagined ones.
認識自己的缺點也一樣重要。你是否很難長時間集中精神?會不會每寫半小時就休息一小時?你必須認清這個問題,或預留大量時間完成文章,或學習長時間保持專注。你是否習慣大幅修改重寫?你必須規劃及早完成初稿,后續才有時間修改。簡言之,你不能仰賴自以為是的技巧與習慣,必須根據實際的技巧與習慣,按部就班寫作論文。

Way # 5 – Anticipate: Learn to avoid surprises
建議五:防范未然,臨事不亂

It is said the best laid plans of mice and men come to naught when the unexpected circumstance intrudes. The moral is, all the careful planning in the world will not guarantee that a writing project will come together without incident. That’s what makes life interesting! Even so, there is no joy in running into an obstacle with a paper’s deadline looming. The best way to avoid such crises is to anticipate them and to build into your schedule time to respond to them.
曾有人說,人鼠之間擬定的計劃再如何周詳,意外攪局時,仍將化為泡影。 其中教訓是,世事難料,盡管仔細規劃,寫論文難保不會有意外。人生因此而精采,但論文截止在即,遇到這種麻煩可就不精彩了。要預防這類問題,最好的方法就是事先防范,安排時間以備處理問題。

Example: When compiling a list of sources and citations, look at each one’s potential for rejection. Sometimes a cited source is deemed to be irrelevant to subject matter, perhaps because his authority and credentials have been superseded by more recent research. Or a citation from a document might be discounted because the document lacks academic standing. Be critical of source material so that your professor can’t shock you late in the day by rejecting parts of it.
舉例來說,整理數據源和引用文獻清單時,應該檢查每一項資料是否可能遭到否決。有時一項數據的威信與可靠度可能遭到最近的研究推翻,因此不再適合引用;或者引用的來源文章學術價值不高,而使效果打折扣。整理引用文獻時要仔細檢查,以免教授事到臨頭不贊同某些引用,讓你手足無措。

Also, be an editor as well as a writer. Not only examine your paper for grammar and similar writing issues, examine it for content. Ask yourself tough questions: Is this section weak because I have tried to stretch research material too far? Does the conclusion really work, reflecting the introduction and accurately summarizing the body of the paper? Is that illustration effective or just pretty? If you are tough on yourself along the way, a professor can’t surprise you at the end.
此外,除了寫論文,也要從編輯的角度觀察論文,除了檢查文法一類的寫作問題,也應該注意文章內容。嚴格自問:這一段是否因為推論過度而使說服力薄弱?結論是否與引言首尾呼應,確實總結全文?舉證是否有助理解,或僅為妝點之用?如果寫論文時從頭至尾嚴以律己,就不必擔心最后有什么事會出乎意料了。

Way # 6 – Beware of breathers, plateaus and other obstacles
建議六:小心寫作的喘息、高原期和其他障礙

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. 
學術寫作可能變得很苦悶,苦悶的第一階段是焦慮,只有等工作有了進展,心情才會逐漸開朗。不過到了某個階段,工作的辛苦在寫作中展露無遺,讓寫作的人想停下來喘息。請注意,如果你想停下來喘息,就代表這個寫作步調無法讓你持續寫作。正確的步調讓你有穩定進展,卻不會筋疲力盡,只要固定休息,就應該能繼續工作。

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.
而高原是另一個阻礙;高原是指完成研究或寫作的某一個段落,然后就停下來了。作者爬上了一個小山丘,然后想回頭張望。所以,一開始就志得意滿只會阻礙進步,讓作者停滯不前,盡管期中目標對寫作很重要,但卻只是中途的停靠站,而不是最終的目的地。裹足不前終將一事無成。

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.
簡言之,論文寫作有了好的開始,別因為迷失方向而浪費了,切勿一開始就洋洋自得。只有扎實的研究顯然不夠,好的開頭、內容豐富的中間章節,或結構嚴謹的結尾,也顯然不夠。在這幾個部分的其中一些做得好,不代表整篇文章成功。教授注意的是整體內容,你寫作時也應該如此。所以,深吸一口氣,好好欣賞自己某一階段的表現,然 后繼續邁進。

Way # 7 – Don’t tire in the homestretch
建議七:別在最后沖刺時泄氣

Every writing project has an end. You can see it from the beginning, and catch glimpses of it as you move through a paper. Inexplicably, some writers slow their progress with the end near at hand, sometimes stopping altogether. You can tell a professional academic writer from a wannabe: The pro doesn’t quit until he has crossed the finish line. The key to finishing strongly is to establish and maintain a writing pace that finds you still with psychic energy at the end.
每個寫作計劃都有終點,剛開始時你看得見,寫作時也隱約看得見。奇怪的是,終點近在咫尺時,有些人卻會慢下腳步,甚至完全停步。專業學術作者與業余作者的差別就在這里:專業人士不到終點不會停止。要全力沖過終點線,關鍵是制定適切的寫作步調,并且保持下去,才能到最后依然保持干勁。

Long-form projects such as scholarly papers can be exhausting as writers try to wed research data and findings with polished writing that expresses original thinking. This is not child’s play. But what ultimately separates good writers from bad is how they wrap up a paper. A piece that wanders off in its latter stages and concludes weakly gives back all the goodwill it built up in earlier sections. No part of a paper can stand to be weak, especially the concluding section.
學位論文等長期寫作,必須努力用優美精煉的文筆,結合研究數據與發現,表達原創性的想法,過程非常累人,絕非兒戲。而好壞作家間最大的差別,就在他們的文章怎么收尾。如果后半部分偏離主題,結論疲軟無力,可就前功盡棄了。文章沒有一個部分可以松懈薄弱,結論尤其如此。

Psychic energy is what an individual draws on for inspiration and second-effort resolve. It is how a person is able to maintain a high standard of writing when he is dog-tired of a project. Learn to recognize telltale signs of mental weariness, such as a sudden willingness to settle for “good enough” or an unwillingness to check the spelling of a suspect word. These are the letdowns that erode a fine paper into a substandard one. Demand excellence of yourself from beginning to end.
寫作時尋找靈感、嘗試再次解決問題時,就需要干勁。有了干勁,才能在寫作后半段疲累不堪時,仍然保持高寫作標準。你應該學會辨認心理疲勞的蛛絲馬跡,例如突然覺得「過得去」就好,或是不想檢查可能有問題的拼字。這樣得過且過會侵蝕原本出色的文章,讓文章變得平庸。記得自始至終都應該要求自己、追求卓越。
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