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University Research Paper Prewriting Tips

Prewriting is a form of preparation you can do before you start writing your paper. You think about your topic, get ideas together, and make a plan for your project. This can help you complete your paper and get you off on the right track when you start writing. You can view this as preparing for your research paper in stages. This includes choosing a topic, brainstorming, making a list of questions to ensure your paper will answer, and an outline to help you conduct research and organize findings. The following points are a few tips to help you get started developing your own prewriting plan.

  • Select a topic through brainstorming or review a list of topic suggestions.
  • Sometimes you need to just think about your topic before you start writing. You may have an idea for a topic but you can think about it to help you understand what you want to write. You can brainstorm to break up ideas into potential topics. When you brainstorm this may help you find an original topic you can tackle without writing about a common topic.

  • Once you have thought about your topic think about how you will write it.
  • This is like visualizing yourself writing. What are some things you want to mention about your topic? How will you need to collect this information? You may want to write some brief notes to help you understand what your topic needs and how you will get it done. Think about sources you will need to use and consider when you will work on your content.

  • Do some free writing and consider answering basic questions about your topic.
  • Think about questions people would want to know and access how well you can answer them on your own. This may give an idea of how much research you will need to conduct. If you are able to answer most questions you can consider adding unique information to make your research paper more interesting. Access what information you can add that is intriguing and informative. You should also consider your guidelines and take notes on additional actions you may need to take to ensure your paper meets requirements.

  • Make an outline featuring your ideas.
  • This will also be based on what your project is required to have. An outline will feature sections your research paper is made. You may break up your research paper into three sections and work on each section when you get ready to do your research.