Writing a theme paper? A research paper? Maybe an essay? Well, don't panic just yet. Here are some basic tips for any project/assignment that requires structured writing.
Brainstorm - Toss those ideas, words, phrases, questions in the basket and then...
Outline! - Your project should follow an outline, this will help you stay on topic as you write.
Narrow your scope to 3 points of interest, 3 ideas or 3 subjects to compare, argue, etc.
It's a conversation,
Hello - Introduction
Conversation topic - Body
Goodbye - Summary
Consider your audience - Can a novice or amateur on this topic make sense of your information? Proofread
Do the paragraphs expound on the topic sentence?
Does the paper transition well from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, and topic to topic?
Transitional Devices Choose your words as an 'educated person'
Thesaurus- use it! Refrain from slang or common language, and writing in 1st person (I, me, my, mine)
Example - Don't: I like cats because they are interesting.
Example - Do: One may prefer cats for their challenging personalities.
Sleep on it. After you think you have done your best, sleep on it. Then after a while, hopefully one day at least, read it again, and try looking at what you have done from someone else's perspective.
Site your references! You want to give credit where it is due, so make certain to list your sources.
Enjoy your writing, take some pride in your work, and do your best. Writing is a learned skill and does take some time and effort to develop. Accept any criticism with an open mind, and LEARN from your mistakes. Even the best writers need room for improvement.