A research project is slightly different from a term project, but a term project can be a research project. The difference here is that something which constitutes a “term project” is something that counts for a larger portion of your grade. It is considered a final project of sorts while something that is a simple research paper can be required of you throughout the course of the year at any point.
In some cases, your final project might be a large research paper which requires you to form a hypothesis and test it, then report upon your findings. In some cases your term project might be a group assignment. In any case, there are some things you can do to help improve the way you work:
The first thing is to stay cognizant of where you are working. Regardless of the type of project you are facing, the last place you want to find yourself working on a regular basis is in front of your television or surrounded by loud roommates. You want to find some place where you can dedicate all of your skill and concentration on the task at hand. This might be a bedroom, a study room in the school library, or even a comfortable table in the back of a sparsely filled café. Avoid working on your bed because there is little room to sit upright and to have all of your items laid out properly. Look instead for a table or desk where you can place your computer and all of your papers and books. You should be able to comfortably spread out all of your study materials so that you can easily grab a book you just read and compare the notes to a journal article, then type out your notes into your computer. Your space does not need to be incredibly large but it should be able to accommodate those things.
After this, make sure you create a regular working schedule. For final projects and for shorter papers you still have deadlines and these deadlines often accompany a plethora of other school projects. This is why it is important that you start with the final deadline and work backward in your school planner or calendar. Set up personal milestones for different parts of the final task so that you can stay on point while you are working. Give someone else a copy of the schedule that you want to use so that they can hold you accountable. This will give you the increased positive pressure that there is another person who might continually, and randomly, check in on you and your progress.
When you are working on any given day, start off with the tasks that are the most difficult. If you have a short bibliography which you need to edit and a large slew of books you need to review, it might be tempting to start off with the short bibliography because it will take up less time and can be accomplished faster. But this is not in your best interest. Your energy and your focus will be at its highest when you first start working which is the exact time during which to work on the more difficult components to your overall project. Later on during the study session, you will be more tired and this will be the perfect opportunity to focus on the easier items.
Take a break regularly when working. Take a break for ten minutes every hour that you are working. This will increase circulation and blood flow and keep your brain healthy and active.