Kids often struggle to complete projects: they often wait until the last-minute then come to mom or dad and say, “I just remembered I need to complete and turn in a project about “global cooling” tomorrow. Can you help me?” To avoid late nights and help your child complete projects on time, teach them the steps outlined in this post.
Step 1: Plan and Prioritize
- Read, re-read, and understand the assignment instructions.
- Set reasonable due dates for steps 1- 6.
- Using your planner or calendar, write down the date your project is due.
- Count the number of weeks or days between the current date and the due date.
- Divide this number by six: this is the number of weeks or days between each due date.
- Record the due dates for each step on your calendar.
- Consider the purpose for the project/paper(description, cause/effect, compare/contrast, persuasion, etc.)
- Identify Your Topic: Determine what you want your project to be about.
- Use your imagination to brainstorm ideas.Make a list of ideas you think about while you are brainstorming.
- From these ideas, narrow it down to the topic you are most interested in.
Step 2: Do Your Research!
- Research sources at the library/on-line.
- Identify two more resources than you think you will need.
- Organize thoughts and supporting details (use bibliography sheets or another form of organization).
Step 3: Prepare the First Draft
- Consider using a graphic organizer or software to make sure your ideas match the purpose for your project of paper(see examples from www.inspiration.com)
- Focus on organizing your thoughts and ideas into an appropriate sequence depending on the purpose.
- Use a word bank of transition words to make your written work more interesting and descriptive.
- Focus on getting your ideas on paper without being overly concerned with spelling, grammar, and punctuation during this step.
Step 4: Revise the Draft
- Read through your project or paper aloud at least one time to help clarify your ideas.
- Read and listen to ensure that the sequence is logical and that it says what you really want it to say.
- Rearrange, reword, and modify as needed.
- Add, cut, reorder, and replace sentences and paragraphs.
Step 5: Proofread and Edit
- Carefully proofread your revised draft, rereading for errors in grammar, sentence structure, and sentence meaning.
- Examine your revised draft for errors in spelling and correct errors.
- Check punctuation and capitalization.
Step 6: Finalize the Project or Paper
- Emphasize the appearance of the written product.
- Check margins to make sure it meets the criteria outlined by your teacher.
- Review your title, title page, and bibliography for accuracy.
- Plan for several drafts if required.
- Attend to grammar, semantics, syntax, and style.
Go for it! Turn your project in to the teacher on time!
© 2009-2011, flexiture, monte w. davenport, ph.d