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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Generate Ideas and Write your Paper

1.  Start by reading.  Just read.

2. Now brainstorm.  Make a numbered list of ideas, in no particular order. Just the order they occur to you.  They can be major ideas or small observations.  Don't worry about which are good or important for now.

3. When you have enough ideas so that you think you can write a paper, eliminate some of the less relevant or weaker ones, and order the rest into a more logical order. See if they form an argument. Maybe some are sub-categories of one of the major ideas?

4. Now write an introduction to your paper, with a thesis statement that summarizes the shape of your entire argument.

5. Now write the body of the paper, using your numbered list of ideas.

6. Now throw away most of your introduction and rewrite it from scratch so that it actually conforms to what the body of the paper says. Nothing is worse than finding out that the paper doesn't end up doing what the intro said it would do.

7. Now set the paper aside a few days.

8. Now revise it paragraph by paragraph. You should have at least some revision in each paragraph, a sentence that doesn't work or two paragraphs that have to be combined into one.

There.  Now you will have a first draft of your paper.


profacero said...

Muy bien, might steal

Jonathan said...

You should steal it. It is yours or anyone's for the taking.