Writing a paper may seem like a daunting task, but there are pre-writing steps anyone can take before beginning the first draft that will help the process flow smoothly.

Budget Your Time Wisely

From the moment an instructor assigns a research paper, the writer is on the clock. The due date will come. Rather than worry, keep a small calendar so he or she can clearly see how much time is available before the final paper is due. Mark the due date with a brightly colored marker. Next, divide up the available time into segments according to how much time you think will need for each task related to writing the first draft.

Brainstorm Your Writing Approach

As long as you present your findings in a logical manner, aligned with your instructor’s expectations, how your present your information is up to you. Your approach and the paper’s requirements will suggest what you need discuss in the body of the research paper. Once you have your approach, jot down the topics your instructor required you to present in your paper, as well as any related topics that interest you. These will form the material you need to create your outline.

Create an Outline

Your outline is the skeleton on which you will build your paper. Every paper has three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The requirements of your paper will determine how many specific topics you will need to cover in your outline. Using short sentences, write how you will introduce the subject of each topic you will discuss. Below that, write down information that will support your subject. One you have enough information to form a logical path from the beginning to the end of your paper, you are ready to begin your research.

Assess Available Resources

Now that you have an outline, begin your research. You may find that you need to spend a few hours in the library or surfing the Internet to collect enough information to complete your paper. Use your outline as a guide so you do not waste time on needless research.

Remember these pre-writing steps:

  • Budget your time wisely
  • Brainstorm your writing approach
  • Create an outline
  • Assess available resources

By following these pre-writing steps before starting your research paper, you will save time, reduce your stress, and create a fine paper.

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