How Do I Write a Paper?

How Do I Write a Paper?

Author: Nikki Hansen

To introduce and discuss:
- Brainstorming (what it is, how to do it).
- Venn Diagrams
- The writing process

This packet includes details descriptions of how to brain storm, different types of techniques and useful diagrams, and the writing process. There are two videos - one discussing venn diagrams, one discussing mind mapping. There are also image examples.

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I've been assigned a paper, now what do I do?

There are many different approaches you can take to writing a paper. The most important thing you can do is brainstorm, and then draw up an outline. 

What is brainstorming? Brainstorming is a technique used to generate a large group of ideas.  While you're brainstorming, welcome a large variety of ideas.  Quantity breeds quality.  The more you have, the better. Don't criticize or critique yourself while you brainstorm.  You can edit later.  Welcome unusual ideas and connections. Combine and perfect your ideas.

How do I do it?  You can brainstorm using a variety of methods, including venn diagrams and mind maps.

What is a venn diagram? A venn diagram shows all hypothetically possible logical relations between a collection of sets.  If these sets/ subjects have something in common, you write those connections down in the space where they overlap. For example, if you are writing a paper that compares and contrasts two characters you would put the name of one character in one circle, and one character in another circle.  Everything they share (habits, ideas, family members and so on) should be written in the part where the circles over-lap. Things that pertain to the individual characters should be written in their respective circle.  Then, when you go to write your paper, you can draw on this diagram to help you discuss their similarities and difference. 



What is a mind map? A mind map allows you to make connections linked to a central idea or word.  It's a free-writing exercise that can be very beneficial to the writing process. 


What is the writing process? The writing process consists of brainstorming, prewriting, writing, revising, editing and a final draft. 

The Writing Process

Once you have brainstormed your topic, you're going to want to start writing. 

By doing your diagram or idea map, you have already finished the first step in the writing process: pre-writing. By free writing, making a list or by doing a word chart, you can generate more ideas. 

The second step in your pre-write is to write a rough draft. It will help if you create an outline first. In your rough draft, you will be writing about a few points discovered in your pre-write. In this stage, just write.  Make sure it's structured.  Keep an eye on your grammar.

Then revise! Is there something that needs to be clarified in your paper, or something that doesn't really belong there? Now is the time to take it out. In this step you will add necessary information, remove extra stuff, strengthen points that need strengthening and you will make sure everything flows nicely and logically. 

Next comes editing. Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation use, et cetera. Read your work out loud.  Does it make sense?  Are all the commas in the right places? Are their obvious errors? Get rid of them :) 

Now you have your final draft! Don't forget your name, the date, title or anything else the teacher asks for. 

Venn Diagram Video

This video discusses what a venn diagram is and what the intersection is (what they have in common), as well as additional information of this type of diagram.

What is a mind map and how do I do it?

This video describes how to execute a mind map.