Six Steps to Completing Projects On Time

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
  • 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!

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