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By following certain steps, students can produce papers and essays that are well organized, clear, and concise.
When it comes to writing an essay or a paper, some students make the mistake of sitting down at the computer and beginning to type without rhyme or reason. This is not the best approach, though, if students wish to write an essay or paper that is well organized, clear, and concise. The best approach is to follow certain steps using creative thinking techniques that will, if not guarantee, at least help students achieve that goal.
Generate Ideas About the Topic
Generate ideas by brainstorming, clustering, or merely jotting down thoughts. Also decide upon the goal of the essay or paper: Is it to persuade, to inform, to instruct, to entertain, or perhaps to relate a story? What major and minor points are to be made? What sources, if any, will be needed? What kinds of facts, data, and/or statistics must be incorporated? What details or examples will make the essay or paper more interesting? If it’s a narrative, what descriptions will make it more colorful?
Gather the Necessary Information
Many essays and works require facts, data and / or statistics to support the student’s arguments and conclusions; in addition, by including research results, the student increases his credibility in the eyes of readers. If you have difficulty in writing, you can always ask for essay help on time. However, this information should not be collected at the last moment. Ideally, it should be collected before the essay or article is written, although as you work on the project, you can exclude some information and include new results.
Note: When conducting research, make sure the information is relevant and timely as well as from credible sources.
Analyze the Information
Look carefully at the gathered information. Which ideas are most relevant to the topic? Which details are most interesting? Which items are closely related to one another? Which facts, data, or statistics will be most useful? How might all these things be arranged to be most effective? In what order will they be presented?
Identify the Main Point
Develop a Plan
When developing a plan, keep in mind that it does not need to be rigid. In fact, it should be flexible and allow for changes as the essay or paper develops, but it should also lay the foundation for the essay or paper. One approach is to create an outline, for example:
Thesis Statement: Science fiction presents a chilling picture of the future that awaits humankind.
Point One: Many science fiction works raise questions about government control.
- This Perfect Day
- Soylent Green
- I, Robot
- I Am Legend
Point Two: There are different forms of government control, some more covert than others.
- Big Brother is listening
- Internet hacking
- Satellite surveillance
- ID chips
Point Three: Increased government control will lead to the loss of many things humans take for granted.
- Loss of individuality
- Loss of privacy
- Loss of freedom
Write the First Draft
Keeping the main point and sub-points constantly in mind, write the first draft. Do not, however, waste time fretting over typos, mechanics, spelling, etc. Just get down on paper as many ideas and as much information as possible. Also incorporate research findings when needed (cite the sources). Remember, this is a “rough” draft, not the finished product, which means it’s like a lump of coal that, with enough pressure, will eventually become a diamond.
Write the Second Draft
Evaluate the first draft and determine what needs to be done to make it better. Have enough details, examples, and/or facts been provided to support the main point and the minor points? Are research findings smoothly incorporated? Would information in one part of the essay or paper perhaps be more effective in another part? Does the essay or paper have an effective introduction? Does it have a conclusion, or does it instead come to an abrupt and jarring stop?
Edit the Final Copy
Now is the time to look for errors. Yes, word-processing programs such as Spell Check are useful, but do not rely solely upon them, for although helpful tools, such programs are not infallible. Instead, read each sentence aloud (It’s possible to hear the errors) and ask such questions as these:
- Do subjects and verbs agree?
- Are any words being confused, for example, “advice” when it should be “advise”?
- Do pronouns agree with their antecedents?
- Are there any misplaced or dangling modifiers?
- Is the meaning of each sentence clear and concise?
- Are there any fragments?
- Are paragraphs unified?
- Have all sources been correctly cited?
When students follow these steps, although there is no guarantee of success, chances are high they will produce an essay or paper that is well organized, clear, concise, and, ultimately, readable.