Devising a Writing Project Plan and Schedule

One of the most important things writers can do is to plan their writing and develop schedules for completing it. After you have an outline, you are ready to schedule work on your writing project. To do this, you need to have a plan. Knowing what topics you need to cover and whether you need to perform research will help you plan your writing time. Devising a writing project schedule may be particularly worthwhile for your longer assignments, especially research projects; however, a variation of this planning can be useful even for shorter projects.

To devise a schedule, you need a clear plan for all the activities, start to finish, associated with your writing project. A writing plan helps you stay in control of your writing assignments and complete them on time. Consider the time you have to complete the project, and allocate time for each activity. Some activities might include writing drafts; reviewing your project and asking for teacher and peer review; editing your draft for organization, content, style, and mechanics; producing and proofreading your final draft; and submitting your final project to your teacher.

Professional writing has given us some handy tools for managing writing projects. Where you work, you may even use a planning tool similar to the one presented in this appendix. Tools for managing writing projects are necessary where writers are collaborating and where a group of people are responsible for various portions of the writing process, such as reviewing and editing. We offer such a tool here for you to consider. This planning tool can be used for any formal or informal longer writing assignment. In addition, this tool can be used to get feedback from your teacher on your assignment.

Writing Project Plan

Date assigned:

Date due:

Title:

Working thesis:

Audience: Who is the primary audience? Who is the secondary audience? Do I need to make any special accommodations for these audiences?

Scope of assignment: How long is this assignment expected to be? Is it expected to cover a time period or a range of ideas?

Purpose for writing: What do I want to accomplish with this project—show my teacher what I know, earn a high grade, satisfy a course requirement?

Goals of the information: How will the audience use the information?

Methodology: How will I write this assignment? What writing strategy will I use? How will I develop this assignment? Will I subject my paper to any kind of review by the teacher or a peer? How many drafts will I have time to write? Will I have to create any graphics for this assignment? How much research will I have to do? What kind of research is required for this assignment? Should I develop an annotated bibliography? What style standard will I use?

Content outline: Include an outline of the assignment and a brief description of what you plan to include in each section. Include how much library research you think you will need and whether you can use other sources of information such as interviews, personal experience, case studies, and data you collected yourself.

Research: List the titles of your preliminary resources and the subject areas you will need to research.

Schedule for this project: Your schedule should include a week-by-week plan for researching, writing, revising, and submitting your writing project. If your project is due within a week, use a day-by-day schedule to plan it.