If you have followed the steps above, you should have a detailed outline. All you need to do now is explain the information clearly. This means you will need to know how to state, back up, and explain your ideas in paragraphs and how to organize those paragraphs logically.
There are many ways to approach the writing process, and good writers often have their own methods that work well for them. Here is an example:
- Write a first, rough draft. Don't hesitate to talk to people about your topic, or to come to the Student Learning Services' Writing Help Room in Room 142 Murray Building to talk to a tutor if you're stuck.
- Compare your outline, your thesis (if applicable), and your draft.
- Revise your rough draft, ensuring that the content connects very clearly to your thesis.
- Make sure the paragraphs have only one topic with a clear topic sentence.
- Make sure the paragraphs are arranged logically.
- Create transitions between paragraphs.
- If possible, get feedback on your writing before handing it in. The tutors at the SLS's Writing Help Room in Murray 142 (or online) can give you feedback on your writing.
- Take the time to do a final, careful proofread a day before handing your paper in.
Remember, writing takes time and practice. You need to spend time actually writing to develop your ideas and your writing skills. Professors appreciate well-written papers. Often the difference between an "A" and a "B" paper depends on your ability to express your ideas clearly. There are many good books on grammar and style that can help you develop your writing skills.
A Note about Style
This handout has often used informal, conversational language and expressions, including contractions such as "you're," "it's," and "don't." Most academic writing is formal, though. This means that you might be penalized for using contractions and colloquialisms or slang. When you're writing an academic paper, check with your professors about their expectations, including their preferred documentation style.
A Note about Plagiarism
Plagiarism means you have taken someone else's work and represented it as your own. This is a very serious academic offence. If you plagiarize —even unintentionally— you could be expelled from university. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you document your sources completely.
Dealing with Writer's Block
Writing the paper is often the most difficult stage for many writers, especially when writing thematic essays where writers need to develop and express their own ideas. It helps if you remember that this is a rough draft, and that you will have plenty of time to revise it. If you get stuck because nothing you write seems good enough, try creating a concept map of your ideas, talking to a friend, or free-association writing which is writing down anything that comes into your head. The idea is simply to warm up, get your brain working, and reduce your initial anxiety. SLS Writing Help tutors are expert at helping students at this critical stage.