Plan Your Assignment

MM/DD/YYYY (e.g. 12/31/2020)
 
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1: Understand assignment. Select topic.

Note: The research and writing process is not always linear. Keep in mind you may need to go forward or backwards.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
8%
2: Draft thesis or research question.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
7%
3: Find/evaluate evidence & sources.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
20%
4: Critically read & evaluate sources.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
25%
5: Develop structure. Draft paper with in-text citations.
  • Polish or refine your arguments as a response to your research question (from Wisconsin).
  • Organize your thoughts and your paper's structure. Try the following techniques:
  • Become familiar with the Academic Essay Structure from U of M's Center for Writing (PDF)
  • If you are ready to start writing, begin with segments or chunks, not necessarily the introduction or in sequence. As you write you will discover more of what you want to say.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
5%
6: Write 1st draft.

Keep in mind there are many ways to approach writing your first draft.  You do not have to start at the beginning. Instead begin drafting segments or chunks. Concentrate on writing your rough ideas and not on revising.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
20%
7: Revise & rewrite--focus on content.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
10%
8: Polish & put paper in final form.

 

Percent time spent on this step: 
5%