First: In order to be successful, you need to fully understand the assignment. Ask your professor for clarification on anything. Understanding the assignment is paramount and comes even before “pre-writing.”
Once you have a good understanding of the assignment, consider the following: Length, purpose, audience, occasion and your own knowledge of the topic. Your instructor will always give you all of the information you need to know in order to prepare accordingly for the assignment. No curve balls!
Beginning stages: Narrow your subject. i.e. Stem- Cell research to Using stem-cell research to cure multiple sclerosis i.e. Cats to College students need a cat in order to be successful in their studies. Ask yourself questions. If you cannot answer your own questions, you may not have the right topic. It is okay to change your topic. Writing should not be scary, but honest and encouraging.
Freewriting: Freewriting is a strategy to help you generate ideas and support for your newly discovered topic. The idea is to let your ideas flow. Do not stop writing. Keep your hand moving and keep moving forward.
Brainstorming: This is a step much like freewriting, however, brainstorming is more “controlled.” Freewriting should have helped you get “off the path” and let your ramblings flow to different dimensions. When brainstorming, it may be helpful to do some “doodling” or “mapping.”
Informal Outline: Make an outline that has the “skeleton” for your essay. This allows you to fill in the information as you go. There’s not a “right” way to construct your outline. Just make sure it is organized in the best fashion that allows you the opportunity to excel.
Thesis: Once you have done all the preparations for coming up with the best topic, it is time to make your *thesis* A thesis statement is more than a title, an announcement, or a fact. Your thesis should tell your purpose and your argument. I.E. Hybrid cars / Hybrid cars are more energy efficient than cars with standard gasoline engines/ Hybrid cars that use both gasoline and electricity would decrease our country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Continue: It may be helpful to include a one-sentence statement of your thesis statement when you are still in the beginning stages of writing. An effective thesis should: 1. clearly express your essay’s main idea. 2. communicate your essay’s purpose. 3. is clearly worded.
Lastly: Once you have done all of your preparations, you are ready to start writing. Take your time, and slow down the writing process. These are steps to help the *process* of your writing. If you are able to successfully do this on every essay, you will feel confident in your writing.