Steps to Help You Organize and Improve the Writing Process
Understand the assignment directions and expectations. Is the paper a position, argumentative, or analytical paper? Always consider your audience. Who is going to read and possibly benefit from your paper?
Narrow the focus and topic. You don’t want to write a historical overview, but demonstrate command of the content and analyze the scholarly literature on a specific area of your topic. Once the topic is decided upon, start with the scholarly literature and discover what research articles (peer-reviewed) you discover using the college or university library academic databases. Start making a plan of important points you want to include in your paper.
Many students like to organize their thoughts by creating an outline of key topics to help make your argument or position.
Writing as a Process
- Generate ideas
- Finding literature
- Select a topic
- Get organized
- Writing the product
- Revising (evaluating)
- Use APA Style 6th
- Papers need to be written in the third (3rd) person. Avoiding using “I” or “we”.
- No slang, use a scholarly voice.
- Do not start a sentence with numerals.
- The paragraph length as a general rule should be at least three (3) sentence in length but should not be the full length of one page. A paragraph should have only one theme.
- Do not end a sentence with a preposition.
About the Author
Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.