Getting Started: An Overview
Getting started is difficult, but this overview will help you keep in mind what you need to consider and help you find a topic.
I. Give yourself enough time.Writing is not as orderly as
Writing is a messy trial and error process. Don't be afraid to move paragraphs and add/delete sentences. Working and revising until you get it "right" takes time, so plan to start well in advance of the due date.
- Constructing a thesis
- Developing an outline
- Writing a draft
- Correcting the spelling and grammar.
II. Ask yourself: "Why would anyone want to read this?"Always think of your reader. Writing is not intended to be a self-centered activity unless it's a journal. So once you pick a topic, consider what you can do to make it matter for the reader. If you are required to write about one topic and don't have the freedom to choose, the same rule applies: always find ways to provide new insight into a topic so the reader wants to read.
III. Start BrainstormingKeeping in mind the reader, but also your own interests, write down possible topics. Write down everything that comes to mind. You may want to try our brainstorming activity to get you started, or you may want to turn on the television for ideas, or pick up today's newspaper.
Start your brainstorm.
IV. Take a break
Many writers find it helpful to take a break and put some distance between their brainstorm before starting the rough draft. This method allows you to get a clearer insight into the process and everything you may want to say about a possible topic.
V. Focus on one of your brainstorming ideasDiagram all your major points and consider avenues of discovery you may want to explore further. Then, consider how to refine your topic so you can turn it into a paper.
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last updated on 11/25/99