Paper Writing - Brief Overview (I just got assigned a paper, now what?)

Paper Writing - Brief Overview (I just got assigned a paper, now what?)

Author: Kristina Jacobs

To get started on the first steps of writing a paper for an assignment. To review the basic writing process. To use brainstorming to choose a topic. To create a basic Venn diagram on a topic.

This packet goes over the first steps to getting started on writing a paper for an assignment. It offers a 10 step plan for writing a paper. Includes brainstorming exercise and Venn diagram examples with blank Venn diagram templates for two or three sections.

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The Writing Process

The writing process involves choosing a topic, researching the topic and creating a Venn diagram on the topic. Once the choice of topic has been finalized, you will then need to write an outline. The next part of the process is writing the actual paper with an introduction, body and conclusion. The last part of the writing process is editing and revision.

Source: Kristina Blasen

How to Get Started and Write Your Paper in 10 Easy Steps

Step 1: Brainstorm to pick a topic

Step 2: Research your topic and create a Venn diagram on your topic

Step 3: Write an outline for your paper

Step 4: Craft your thesis statement

Step 5: Write the introduction 

Step 6: Write the body of your paper according to the outline you have created

Step 7: Write the conclusion

Step 8: Create the Cover page and References page

Step 9: Review your paper and add transition sentences, check your in text citations and create any graphs or tables

Step 10: Re-read your entire paper and make any final edits. Don't forget to use spell check and grammar check.

Source: Kristina Blasen

Brainstorming Exercises to Help You Choose a Topic

Brainstorm cartoon

Individual Brainstorming Exercise

On a sheet of paper write the assignment requirements in the center. Draw eight lines radiating out from the center of the sheet like spokes on a wheel. Now, using word association, start writing all the possible topics that you can think of down on each spoke without consideration of whether or not the topic would be a good one.

After you have filled in the eight spokes, think of all of the information and facts that you already know about the topic. After no more than ten minutes you should stop and read all of the topics and information that you have written down and decide which topic you know the most about or which one you are most interested in researching and writing about for your paper assignment.

Group Brainstorming Exercise

Assign one person in the group to be the recorder who will write down all of the groups ideas on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Ask the group to think of possible paper topics that would fulfill the assignment requirements and have the recorder write all topics down regardless of their value. After everyone has contributed at least one idea and within ten minutes have the group stop and discuss the ideas. Choose three ideas of merit and create a Venn diagram for each. Choose the Venn diagram with the most information as your paper topic for your group project.

Source: Kristina Blasen, Rick London. JohannWessels, novelracers.blogspot.com

How to Construct a Venn Diagram on Your Paper Topic

Let's look at an example of a Venn diagram for the paper topic "Building a sustainable government in order to protect the environment"

Before constructing a Venn diagram on the topic you need to think about some keywords that would apply to different aspects of the topic. In this case, sustainability, environment, society and economy are a few keywords that apply to this topic.

Here is an example of a Venn diagram exploring the intersections between a sustainable economy, environment and society. Looking at the Venn diagram from a research perspective the three circles would represent all information concerning "economy" (shown in pink), all information concerning "society" (shown in yellow) and all information concerning "environment" (shown in blue). The research that overlaps and includes both "sustainable" and economy, environment and society are in the center of the Venn diagram (shown in green).

Example Venn Diagram

There are different types of Venn diagrams. Another type of Venn diagram is called a "Comparative Venn Diagram". Here is an example of a comparative Venn diagram looking at the similarities between Anemonefish and Atlantic Salmon; the overlapping areas of the circles represent their shared characteristics.

Here are some blank Venn diagrams so that you can construct a Venn diagram on your paper topic.

Blank Venn diagram with two circles


3 circle Venn diagram

Source: Kristina Blasen, http://www.venndiagram.net/photo-gallery, neaq.org, brebru.com, ndstudies.org

Vocabulary- New Writing Terms- Brainstorming, Venn Diagrams, Writing Process

Brainstorming- Brainstorming is a prewriting technique that is used to warm up before writing. It helps generate many ideas very quickly.

Venn Diagrams- Venn diagrams allow you to visually diagram the overlapping connections between interrelated topics using overlapping circles as a template.

Writing Process- The writing process involves choosing a topic, researching the topic and creating a Venn diagram on the topic and writing an outline. The next part of the process is writing the actual paper with an introduction, body and conclusion. The last part of the process is editing, revision and rewriting.

Source: Kristina Blasen