UCLA, Academic Advancement Program
was created to help you through the writing process. Feel free to use it
as a guide and expand on it as you see fit. In addition, I recommend Diane
Hackers Handbook for Writers (available in the Ackerman bookstore)
as a reference.
2) Save your work often and save in more than one place.
3) Fearful of a long term paper? From my own experience, a paper is usually half done after I have written a thorough outline. I already have a skeleton to work with.
4) Remember: writing is a process. Unless you are endowed with a flair for perfect writing on the first draft, you will probably need 5 or more drafts to ensure a solid and coherent paper. (I remember having to revise a 1 _ page personal statement 10 times with 7 different readers before it was considered solid for submission)
2) Search for available resources:
3) Discuss your project with peers. Your classmates are important resources and will be able to give you constructive feedback.
2) Set out 10-15 minutes to freewrite about your chosen topic. Remember to write continuously and do not stop. The purpose here is to spark new ideas that might surface without you having to make it happen.
3) Formulate a thesis or a question that you want to answer in your paper. Ask yourself if this question is focused and answerable within the timeframe of the class or the maximum number of pages allowed.
4) Use either a flow chart (as in scientific lab flow chart) or a mapping diagram (start with your topic/thesis/focus in the center and branch out to subtopics/evidences/analysis) to track your ideas and integrate supportive evidences. 5) Create an outline. You may choose to head off the outline with your thesis (lets call it Roman numeral I). Consider adding a few alphabets after "I" to include other pertinent information to the introductory paragraph. Continue using other Roman numerals to address subtopic that relate to your thesis. Use letters after the numerals to address evidences, citations, and explanations of such examples, analysis, and transitions. Dont forget a conclusion. By the time that youve completed the extensive outline, the skeleton of your essay is already there. Just put them into sentence form now.
Use simple, understandable language. You dont have to flower your
essay with inserted big words, unless you know their exact meaning and
are comfortable with them. Other wise your word choice might sound contrived.
2) The title- Be original. Avoid: "essay #1" or "Beethovens music." "essay #1" can apply to anything and whats so special about Beethovens music? The title should give the reader a clue of what to come. Be creative. Think of what the title "GATTACA" meant to the movie.
3) The introductory paragraph- Keep in mind that the readers frame of mind is not yet focused on your topic. Draw them in with background information or a interesting hook and gradually lead to them to your thesis (one-half of the bowtie effect). Your thesis controls the rest of the paper and should answer three things:
4) Body paragraphs- Every paragraph should relate back to the thesis by being subtopics to that argument.
5) Conclusion- This is NOT A REHASH of the introductory paragraph.
6) Before you turn in the first draft:
2) Seek out your teachers office hours to go over the content of your paper (preferably a week before a draft is due).
3) Use your peer as a resource. Some classes will hold peer review sessions so take advantage of it by coming in with a solid draft. Have other friends critique your paper and ask them not to be timid with their comments. Ask inquisitive and specific questions about what they liked or didnt like about your paper.
4) Dont merely correct grammar mistakes and address problematic areas suggested by your editor. You have got to apply those lessons to other areas that the reader might have missed.
5) Dont be afraid to cut out paragraphs/sections that dont make sense. I know that it is difficult to delete sentences that I constructed and thought highly of, but if they dont serve a purpose, I have to get rid of them.
6) Address more global problems with coherence and logic first before you tackle the local problem of syntax and grammar.
7) Repeat step #5 of the under the "Writing" section.
8) Ask yourself when you revise (keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list):