Deciding on Structure

Figuring out how to structure a paper is admittedly a difficult task. Consider the following strategies for getting your ideas moving in the right direction:

• Talk to other people. Explaining what you think to a friend will help you organize and articulate your thoughts. For many people, talking with others is one of the most helpful preparations for writing.

• Take a walk. Sometimes physical exercise can clear a fuzzy head and give space to think through your ideas. You may even find that it is helpful to talk out-loud.

• “Map” your ideas on a blank sheet of paper. Graphic organizers are often good ways of testing out different approaches to your material. If you can draw out the steps in your argument, you might be able to form your map into a paper outline. Many websites provide creative ideas for graphic organizers.

• Take a break. Sometimes focusing on a particular question for too long ceases to be productive. Distancing yoruself from your work for a short time by taking a break can bring about a new perspective and renewed clarity. Only be sure not to use this strategy as an excuse to procrastinate!


Other "Crafting Your Paper" topics:

The Body of Your Paper

Two Approaches to Argument

Anticipating Objections


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