Answered By: Wendy Hardenberg
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2017     Views: 12

This is a question that plagues everyone, but especially PhD students writing their dissertations. When do you stop reading and start writing? At some point, you just have to make the decision. You don't want to be sloppy or cursory, but you'll get paralyzed if you try to find all the information for every single assignment. Just use your best judgment—when you feel like you have enough to go on, and you've checked enough places that you're confident you're probably not missing anything important, it's time to start using the information you've already found.

For smaller assignments, you can also use the rule of thumb that you should have at least one source per page in the finished paper. So if your professor assigned you a five-page paper, once you have five sources, you can probably start writing.

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