Getting Started

Where do I begin?

Before you begin to write, make a plan.

  • Brainstorming: Think about what you would like to write. Make a list of your ideas or freewrite by just writing 1-2 pages of about your topic and what you want to explore. Try to think of five points you can discuss in your essay.
  • Talk about your topic and ideas with your classmates, a tutor, professor, friend or relative. They don’t have to knowledge of the topic to listen and share what they think sounds reasonable. This is a good way to try out your ideas and come up with new ones. Encourage others to ask you questions so that you can have a clear idea of what you need to research and include in your paper and how you might organize it.


As you begin writing, consider the following:

  • Decide which main points you will focus on in your essay.
  • Decide which point you wish to develop first, second, third, etc.
  • For each point you present, be sure to discuss several aspects of that point. For example, you may want to give a definition, tell why it is important, and suggest how it is relevant to the topic.
  • Write two explanations and/or examples to illustrate each point/idea.

For more suggestions on getting started with your writing assignments, consult Brainstorming, Writing Thesis Statements, and Outlining.

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