1. Deciding on a topic:
~ Choose a subject that interests you.
~ Choose a subject that has plenty of information available about it.
~ Choose a subject that the professor approves of.
2. Finding information:
~ Make sure that the information comes from a source that is valid and reputable.
~ Gather as many sources that you need in order to meet the criteria and fulfill the assignment.
3. Scanning and evaluating the information:
~ Look at the introductions and conclusions of the sources.
~ Does the source provide the correct kind of information?
~ Does the source provide enough information about the topic?
4. Stating a specific thesis:
~ What is your main point?
~ Who is your target audience?
~ What are you trying to accomplish by writing this paper?
5. Creating an outline:
~ What are the major and minor points of the topic?
~ What is the order or steps that the subject should take?
6. Organizing your notes:
~ Decide what is the most important information in the sources that you gathered.
~ Decide what sequence the information should be in.
7. Beginning the writing process:
~ Write a clear and compelling introductory sentence and paragraph.
~ Continue to write paragraphs that back up and support your introduction.
~ The information that you include should lead to a comprehensible and logical conclusion.
8. Writing an abstract:
~ The abstract is a condensed version of the information provided in the paper.
~ The abstract is normally one full paragraph in length.
9. Avoid using direct quotes, paraphrase as much as possible:
~ Professors prefer paraphrasing over direct quotes.
~ By paraphrasing, it allows you to think through and more fully understand the subject.
~ The fewer direct quotes that your paper has, the more the paper is your own work.
10. Proofreading, editing, and revising:
~ Read and re-read the entire manuscript.
~ Correct all spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.
~ Check the continuity and flow of the paper.
11. Handling the stress of deadlines:
~ Begin the project immediately.
~ Pace yourself according to how much time you have to complete the assignment.
~ Make an effort to take time to work on it everyday.