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How to Make a Timeline

Last Updated: May 4, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. This article has been viewed 818,358 times.

A timeline provides a visual representation of events that helps you better understand history, a story, a process or any other form of an event sequence. You can make a timeline to fit a variety of subjects, so they’re a common academic project. Fortunately, they are also really easy to make. To make a timeline, research your topic, create your project, and organize the events chronologically.

Researching Your Topic

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Creating a Framework

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Filling in Your Timeline

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Sample Timeline

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how do you write a timeline for a research paper

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About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

If you need to make a timeline to help you better understand a story or a historical occurrence, make a list of all of the events you want to include in the timeline. Aim for no more than 20 events in a timeline, and look for relevant details that add interest to the story you are telling. Sketch out a line using a pencil, and label the timeline with the project title and boundary years. Add the most important dates to the timeline in sequential order, then fill in any details. For tips from our reviewer on different ways to structure your timeline, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a 10-Page Research Paper

A large research paper assignment can be scary and intimidating. As always, this large assignment becomes more manageable (and less scary) whenever you break it down into digestible bites.

Start Early

The first key to writing a good research paper is starting early. There are a few good reasons to get an early start:

Write in Stages

The timeline below should help you get to the number of pages you desire. The key to writing a long research paper is writing in stages: You will need to establish a general overview first and then identify and write about several subtopics.

The second key to writing a lengthy research paper is to think of the writing process as a cycle. You will alternate researching, writing, reordering, and revising.

You will need to revisit each subtopic to insert your own analysis and arrange the proper order of your paragraphs in the final stages. Be sure to cite all information that is not common knowledge. Consult a style guide to make sure you are always citing properly.

Use a Timeline

Develop your own timeline with the tool below. If possible start the process four weeks before the paper is due.

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How to Write a Timeline for a Research Proposal

Harrison pennybaker.

Developing a timeline for your research proposal is a fairly easy, but very useful step in your project.

Developing a proper timeline for your research proposal is essential for the process. Writing a research proposal might seem like a daunting and, at times, unending process. However, like any large project, breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable tasks makes the job easier and far less stressful. A timeline can help you plan these tasks. Once you have made basic preparations for your proposal, write your timeline.

Familiarize yourself with the requirements, rules, and procedures of the body or individual for whom you are writing the timeline. If you are writing the plan for yourself, then you set your own parameters; however, if you are writing your research proposal for a granting agency, professor, superior, or institution, then you'll need to be familiar with their requirements, including any relevant deadlines. Take these into account before preparing your timeline. Check if deadlines, requirements, and other formalities are negotiable or flexible.

Determine the total amount of time that you will be carrying out and writing up your research, as well as any specific deadlines that you'll need to meet. This is important for determining the start point and end point of your timeline. Make realistic estimates, and, when in doubt, opt for a longer timeline rather than a shorter one if possible. It's usually better to propose a longer timeline and then come in early than it is to propose a shorter one and come in late.

Determine how many phases, steps, or tasks your project will require, name them, and break them into sub-components, if applicable. Depending on your project, you may have several distinct sections, and these sections may include their own sub-sections. Determining the sections and breaking them into smaller components will allow you to develop a more precise and detailed idea of how much time you will require. It will also help you develop a better working plan, because time management is easier when you know exactly what you are required to do.

Break your phases, steps, or tasks down into time increments appropriate for the length of the project. For instance, if your project involves only four phases and will take two years, break down the steps for your project into monthly increments; for instance, allow six months for research, six months for processing and sorting data, six months for writing the piece, and six months for edits and printing.

Review your timeline as your project unfolds, and, if possible, amend it as required. A timeline is an estimate and plan for the unfolding of a project, but it's useful to keep an eye on it as you progress. Individual deadlines will vary in terms of flexibility, so your timeline management will also vary. Try not to rush just to meet your pre-set timeline if that will sacrifice the quality of your work. Adjust the timeline if necessary.

About the Author

Harrison Pennybaker began writing in 2004. He has written as a student and a journalist, specializing in politics, travel, arts and culture and current affairs. He holds a Master of Arts in political science and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in political science.

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  Dr. Needham’s Research Report Milestones

The following are the milestones for all students enrolled in SI495/SI496 with me as their advisor.

Topic Research

You'll need to research your paper’s topic to make sure it is current and scholarly.   "Current" means that you can find at least five articles published within the last three years from publications that are directly related to your topic.   The five current publications are also required to be “scholarly”, which means that they are from scientific journals or books (books are more difficult due to the last-three-years rule).   You may use citations from the Internet as long as they are properly cited, but these do not count towards the “current and scholarly requirement”.   To research your topic, both search the Internet and go to the library and search through recent issues of Communications of the ACM and IEEE Computer magazines for articles related to your research.   Look up the references cited in those papers as needed.

Weekly Research Summary .

Due to me by 2200 every Sunday evening via e-mail.   Status report should be roughly 1-2 single spaced pages in length and must include the sections described here .

A sample research paper is available to help give you a feel for what you are producing in terms of the research paper requirement.

A sample presentation is available to help give you a feel for what you are producing in terms of the required presentation.

Research Paper Timeline

In order to provide timely feedback to you as you develop your paper, I am providing the following milestone schedule. Note that the dates indicated in the below are the latest time by which a milestone must be completed so that you do not fall behind in your paper’s development.   You are free (and encouraged) to complete any and all milestones early.  

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How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on January 3, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:


Literature review.

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

See an example

how do you write a timeline for a research paper

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

To guide your introduction , include information about:

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

To determine your budget, think about:

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. & George, T. (2023, January 03). How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-process/research-proposal/

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How to use a Gantt chart for a research project

how do you write a timeline for a research paper

Using a Gantt chart for a research project can give all stakeholders a better understanding of timelines and the resources needed for each task.  With all project activities neatly laid out within a timeline and every minor detail accounted for, a Gantt chart provides your team with the framework for successful project operations.

In this article, we’ll discuss a Gantt chart and how you can use it in a research project to maximize efficiency and promote greater transparency. We’ll also share how you can use monday.com’s project management Work OS to simplify the management of any research project further.

Get started

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a bar chart popularized in the early 1900s by Henry Gantt. It lets you establish a detailed project plan according to when you need each task completed.

If done correctly, a Gantt chart creates a realistic time frame for a project by establishing a start date for the whole project and each task. Then, you can pair these start dates with an estimation of how long the task will take, broken down by days, weeks, or months.

What makes a Gantt chart unique is that it establishes dependency relationships between all relevant tasks, which can help you better understand necessary workflows.

For example, let’s say you’re creating a research proposal. One of your tasks is to promote awareness and garner support for the proposal on social media. However, before you can do that, you need to create informational materials you can distribute and have the proposal outline ready for viewing. Since these necessities are clearly outlined in the Gantt chart, you can plan your project timeline accordingly.

How can you use a Gantt for research projects?

Research projects are vast undertakings that require a lot of your time, effort, and brain power. Sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked or confused about what comes next in your research or how you should put it together.

A clear understanding of objectives and deadlines can help you organize even the most complex research project undertakings. Even better, a Gantt chart provides clear step-by-step instructions with dependency relationships marked to ensure every team member understands their responsibilities.

A Gantt chart ensures all research project team members clearly understand objectives, deadlines, and task dependency relationships.

Best practices for planning and scheduling a research project

Understanding the best practices for planning and scheduling a research project can help you get the most out of your Gantt chart . A few best practices include:

Having the right tools can increase efficiency, decrease downtime, and ensure objective deadlines are not only met but exceeded.

Managing research projects on monday.com

monday.com’s robust  project management Work OS makes managing research projects easier by:

monday.com can provide your team with a Gantt chart view to make project management easier. Get started with monday.com’s powerful Work OS by building a research project workflow from scratch or try a few of our other templates for managing research projects easier.

Related templates

A basic Gantt chart can help you plan your research project in detail. On monday.com, you can add a Gantt View to any type of project board. Below are some of our recommended templates from our Template Center that you can use to fine-tune other essential aspects of your research project.

Keyword power tools template

Our  Research Power Tools Template uses a Gantt chart format to help you visualize project timelines, manage project resources, and monitor each phase of your research projects from one platform.

Publication and journals template

Our  Publications and Journals Template is an excellent tool for content publishing companies. You can use our template to:

By now, you should have a working idea of Gantt charts and how they increase transparency and efficiency in project management. However, if you still have questions, we’ve answered a few FAQs below.

How do you create a dissertation in a Gantt chart?

To create a Gantt chart for a dissertation, you should first understand your timeline and deliverables. Once you’ve written these down, create detailed task lists of how you’ll accomplish each deliverable and consider dependency relationships between each. Finally, use the Gantt chart to outline your dissertation from start to finish.

What should be in a dissertation timeline?

In a dissertation timeline, you should include the following:

How do you create a Gantt chart in Word?

You can create a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word by:

Any team can increase transparency in their research projects with monday.com

Using a Gantt chart to create a detailed project timeline can help increase transparency and promote greater efficiency in your organization’s research projects.

When you pair a Gantt chart with monday.com’s robust project management system, you have the tools you need to meet deadlines, complete objectives, and exceed expectations.

Try monday.com for projects

Join the 152k+ customers who use monday.com.

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    Timeline for Sorting and Marking Your Research. 1 day for a short paper. 3-5 days for papers up to ten pages. 2-3 weeks for a thesis. You should read each of your sources at least twice. Read your sources the first time to soak in some information and to make notes on research cards. Read your sources a second time more quickly, skimming ...

  2. How to Make a Timeline: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

    6. Put the most important dates on the timeline. Go along the line and mark the spots where the events will go. Draw a line that is perpendicular to your main timeline to show the years in which the events occurred, and write down a short description of each one. [8] Organize the dates sequentially.

  3. PDF The Research Process : A Suggested Timeline

    Write and revise the paper ... • Use a style manual to assist you, such as "Research and ... Use the suggested timeline to create your own "due date" for each step. This will help you stay on ‐track with your research assignment. Created Date: 9/9/2008 4:18:40 PM ...

  4. PDF Research Sample Timeline

    Research Sample Timeline 1) Conduct continuous, thorough literature review to identify gaps in knowledge and experts in the field 2) Identify specific aims of project based on your research vision, plan, preliminary data results and ... Write proposal draft 11) Put proposal draft aside for a time, then edit 12) Employ outside readers to review ...

  5. PDF Research Project Timeline Example 1

    Research Project Timeline Example 1 Stage Activity Estimated duration Start date End date Deliverable Comments Research design and planning Develop research design Finalise research problem/questions Confirmed research problem/questions Draft research design section for final report Prepare research proposal Research proposal/ethical approval

  6. Create a Timeline for a Research Proposal

    This video will show you how to present your timeline for your research proposal. There are many ways to present the timeline for a research proposal and one...

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    Research Paper Timeline - 8 Weeks. Patience is critical to constructing and finishing a solid research paper. Give yourself time. In some cases, when you have a class project, a college research paper requires ten to fourteen weeks of work, but you may take a course requiring a research paper in a shorter time frame. Click below to view the ...

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    Welcome to the Guide portion of the BU Libraries' Research Paper Planner (RPP). This Guide contains links to helpful resources for each step of the research and writing process. If you have used the Timeline portion of the RPP the links in the Timeline will take you to the links for that step of the process. This Guide may be used independently ...


    Depending on the length of your research project, your timeline should show weekly or monthly goals. Yearlywould not be specific enough. What elseshould you be doing? While a timeline canhelp to plan your research project, you should also: meet with your supervisor regularly, update your timelinefrequently, attend STUDYSmarterworkshops and

  10. How To Create a Timeline (With Steps, Example and Tips)

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  12. How to Write a 10-Page Research Paper

    Save each page in a separate file according to the subject. Print them out. Arrange your printed pages (subtopics) in a logical order. When you find a sequence that makes sense, cut and paste the pages together into one big file. Don't delete your individual pages, though. You may need to come back to these.

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    Understand the assignment. Choose a research paper topic. Conduct preliminary research. Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion.

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  15. How to Write a Timeline for a Research Proposal

    Developing a proper timeline for your research proposal is essential for the process. Writing a research proposal might seem like a daunting and, at times, unending process. However, like any large project, breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable tasks makes the job easier and far less stressful. A ...

  16. How to Create a Research Proposal Timeline

    Identify your milestones. The first step in creating a research proposal timeline is to identify the major milestones of your project. These are the key deliverables or outcomes that you need to ...

  17. Research Paper Timeline

    Research Paper Timeline. In order to provide timely feedback to you as you develop your paper, I am providing the following milestone schedule. Note that the dates indicated in the below are the latest time by which a milestone must be completed so that you do not fall behind in your paper's development.

  18. How to Write a Research Proposal

    We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management". Example research proposal #2: "Making Healthy Connections: Mentoring, Monitoring and Measurement". Example research proposal #3: "Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use".

  19. How To Use a Gantt Chart For A Research Project

    You can create a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word by: Opening a new Word document. Change the document orientation from vertical to horizontal. Insert a bar graph into your document. Make format alterations as necessary to make the graph look like a Gantt chart. Insert information and customize as necessary.

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    Research Paper Planner. This tool will help you stay on track and lead you to resources from libraries and writing centers to help you more easily master the skills for planning, researching, drafting, and writing a research paper, essay, honors or master's thesis. This method of reverse scheduling is based on best practices for writing papers ...

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    Whether you're a student, scientist, or researcher, ChatGPT can help you craft a well-written and well-researched paper that impresses your audience. From choosing a topic to organizing your research, writing your paper, and proofreading and editing it, ChatGPT will guide you every step of the way.