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You've got a topic. You've done some research. Now what? Prewriting strategies help
you focus your thoughts on a topic so that you can develop a well-written, well-developed
argument. It all begins with asking the right questions and making a plan. Prewriting
is also helpful if you're having difficulty finding a topic or just getting started with your research. After completing some prewriting activities, you may find that
you need to dig a little deeper into the research or even locate different resources
as your thesis evolves.
Everyone experiences writer's block. Staring at a blank page can be overwhelming
and intimidating. These strategies can help you ask questions about your topic to
get you started in the write direction.
Usually a thesis statement makes an assertion or expresses an opinion about the subject.
It lets your audience know the scope and purpose of your essay and gives perspective
and focus to all the other ideas in your paper. You may want to refer back to the
section of this Web site on Getting Started for more help on constructing thesis statements and choosing topics. Remember writing
and research are cyclical processes, so your thesis may go through several revisions
as you proceed through the research and writing process.
You may be used to writing reports, exploratory essays, or personal narratives. Research
paper writing will take you into new territory as you explore ideas and topics with
an analytical edge. Research papers require quite a bit of planning and time management.
The resources below will show you the steps involved in writing a research paper.