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Writing a Paper: The Basics
Transcript of Writing a Paper: The Basics
Planning and Outlining
You should outline your paper, and plan for these sections.
Introduction: Pulls your reader in and lays a blueprint.
Thesis: Main argument, plus the how and "so what."
Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph should have a main point, stated in a topic sentence, and should connect back to the thesis.
Conclusion: Restates your main points, and the "so what."
Start with a topic that interests you, and ask yourself:
* What do I know?
* What do I need to know?
* What do I want to know?
Next, go to the library catalog and database page.
Ask yourself: Where can I find out?
A few tips: A book is a great way to get started, and remember the three "r's", recent, relevant, and reliable.
Everybody writes differently! You need to figure out the process that works best for you. This stage is about getting words on the page. Don't worry about correcting every mistake right away!
Try some of these tricks for getting started:
* Pick one spot, and make it your "writing spot."
* Pick one time of day.
* Make yourself write for a set amount of time each day.
* Write anything that comes into your head, even if you don't think it's any good.
Polishing and Publishing
When you polish, you should focus on the surface errors, such as spelling mistakes.
* Know your weaknesses--if you are bad with commas, focus on commas!
* Read your writing out loud--you know how things should sound.
* Pay attention to the font and spacing your professor requires.
* Seek out others who will help you proofread.
Polishing and Publishing
Revising is when you make major changes, like reordering paragraphs or removing them. Revising should focus on the ideas in your paper--how they fit together and progress.
Try these tricks when you revise:
* Have someone else read your paper and circle anything that's confusing.
* Try to make an outline from your paper.
* Check each paragraph for a topic sentence and connection back to your thesis.
* Diagram you paper to check the logical progression.