If you are writing a critical essay the following steps might prove useful. But remember flexibility is important so constantly monitor and evaluate the strategies and approach you have chosen. You might want to try our essay kit which takes you through the steps of completing a writing assignment from the planning stages to submitting your essay and getting feedback.
Determine date of submission and work backwards to the present, remembering things usually take longer than you expect! Generate a list of writing tasks involved, such as selecting a topic, writing a thesis statement or research question, initial research, creating an outline, research, first draft, revising, second draft, references, proof reading, final draft. Estimate how much time each task may take and assign it a deadline. You may have to revise your schedule once you have clarified your topic. You will get better at estimating the time required for each task as you become more familiar with the library and your own writing style. Understanding the question.
If you have been given a specific topic, find out as many details as possible such as who will be reading the paper, what is the specific purpose, how long should it be, what type of content is expected. If you have a choice in topic, start by generating ideas. Ensure the topic is feasible (given time limits and resources), of interest to you and appropriate (check out the idea with your tutor). Keep an “ideas” file for future reference, ask your lecturer, check journal articles, brainstorm or use free writing. Create a thesis statement or question. Similar to a news headline using key words that makes an...