How to survive writing a paper in12 painless steps!
Here are some steps you can take when you are writing a paper. These stepsare recommendations – you don’t have to follow every step. Look throughthem and decide which ones work best for you.Step One: Come up with a topic.*Avoid topics that are too broad or you may be overwhelmed.(ex. – Writing about world history is way too broad of a topic to cover inan academic paper.)*Avoid topics that are too specific or you may run out of things to write about.(ex. – You won’t be able to find enough info. about the history of the Rite Aidstore in Canton.)*Find a topic that is somewhere in between the two examples given above. Worldhistory is too big to cover and the history of Rite Aid in Canton is too small. Youcould, however, write about the history of the city of Canton or the history of theRite Aid Corporation.*Make sure you don’t base your topic idea on an assumption. For example,writing about why everyone likes chocolate ice cream more than any other flavor assumes that everyone’s favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate. It doesn’t matter how well you write your paper if you choose a topic that is faulty to begin with.Step Two: Freewrite about your topic. What do you already know? How do you know it?What do you need to know? How can you find out? If you need to do any outsideresearch to learn about your topic, this is the time to do it.Step Three: Write a very low stakes draft. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or clarity – just write out everything you want to cover in your paper.Step Four: Read through your low stakes draft and then read through your assignmentagain. Add any information you are missing to your draft. Mark any sections of your draft that seem to stray away from your topic and/or your assignment. Think about cutting these sections.Step Five: Take a deep breath! You’ve accomplished a lot! Don’t forget to take breakswhen you start to feel frustrated.Step Six: Read through what you have written and come up with a game plan. Whatinformation needs to come first? What next? What information needs to begrouped together in order to make sense? Reorganize your ideas so they flow in alogical order. Typically, there are two ways to organize your ideas –
. Choose which way works best for your topic and use it to helpyou lay out your ideas in an easy to follow order.Step Seven: This is a great time to get some outside feedback. See if you can get a peer, ateacher, or a tutor to look over what you’ve done so far. Ask specific questions of your reviewer so that he/she will be able to give you the most beneficial feedback.Step Eight: Consider the feedback you’ve received. You don’t have to take everysuggestion, but pay close attention to how a reader perceives your ideas so far. If they are confused or misunderstand something, you probably need to reword or explain more.
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