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How to Use the Research Calculator

This tool will help you stay on track and lead you to resources from libraries and writing centers to help you master the skills of planning, researching, drafting, and writing a research paper, thesis, or dissertation. This method of reverse scheduling is based on best practices for writing papers and theses developed by college and university faculty and librarians.

Fill in the due date of your assignment, then click on the Calculate Assignment Schedule button to see what steps you should follow and when you should have them completed. You can modify the due date at any time.

On the Timeline page you will be able to:

  • print the schedule and
  • set up email reminders for the due dates.

Or go directly to the Research Paper Planner: Guide and view the resources listed there without setting up a timeline.


  1. Deadlines provided by your instructor will supersede any provided by the Research Planning Timeline.
  2. If you are using this tool to plan an Honor's or Master's thesis your due date should be one month before the thesis (or chapter - if you are breaking it down) is due to your advisor.
  3. This timeline is a suggestion for efficient planning.
  4. WARNING: This timeline includes due dates on weekends and University holidays; depending on your plans you may need to make some adjustments.