Learning to write is like following a recipe; there is room for creativity, but you need to know the basics.
A strong thesis statement is specific, focused, and holds tension between ideas.
Prewriting can help you take a general topic and make it more specific.
Researching your subject is an important step in writing because it helps you narrow your focus.
After you choose your topic and assemble your research, organize your ideas before you start drafting.
The drafting phase creates a coherent path for the reader to follow from thesis to conclusion.
Revising happens on many different levels of your paper, from individual words and sentences to larger issues of organization and coherence.
Editing and proofreading ensure clarity, improve style, and eliminate errors.
When you're done with all the steps of revision—revising for purpose, editing, and proofreading—make one final review of your paper.
Brainstorming is a prewriting technique used to help generate lots of potential ideas about a topic.
Freewriting, a prewriting technique, can help you break out of writer's block by letting your ideas flow naturally.
Creating a concept map is an easy way to visually represent the relationships among your ideas.
Careful rhetoric, or the art of crafting arguments through tone and presentation of evidence, can make your argument more convincing.
The effective introductory paragraph introduces the topic in a way that makes the reader interested and curious.
A powerful argument depends on solidly and appropriately constructed body paragraphs.
The conclusion, while not adding new information to the argument, can inspire readers to believe the paper's thesis.
When you're writing a paper, it is important to avoid vague generalizations, especially when it comes to paraphrasing other authors.
To quote an author, copy the author's exact language and use quotation marks to show you are reproducing language from another source.
Appropriately paraphrasing the ideas of researchers and authors can add strength to your argument.
When you consider and counteract opposing arguments, you strengthen your own argument.
You can boost your credibility by acknowledging specific sources who disagree with your position, then effectively refuting their arguments.
After you present the likely objections to your argument, you can show your readers why they should be willing to take your side.