Writing is an important skill and one you'll need to grow and improve on throughout your college career. Explore the steps in this guide to help you get started in the writing process.
For additional resources and questions, check out our campus's Writing Center.
You can also make an appointment with the Writing Center for paper and assignment feedback and tutoring availability.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Get to know your assignment rubric.
If it isn't clear, speak with your instructor.
Lindsey's Writing Center has this guide about figuring out your initial thoughts and ideas.
This is a preview to some of the questions your Lindsey librarian will ask you whenever you need help starting a research project.
Think about what you are interested in and would like to learn more about. For instance, are you interested in hiking? Try looking up hiking in trails in Kentucky. Do you enjoy a sport? May visit the organizational page for the sport that you are interested in and see what is going on in the field.
If you really get stuck, you can also browse these resources for ideas.
Whether you a given a list of topics to choose from or selecting a topic of choice, your selection is incredibly important. For instance, if you select a topic that does not interest you or that is too broad or narrow, it will impact the finished product of your work. Below are some strategies to utilize when deciding on a topic and some websites that contain topic lists for your particular area(s) of study.
Now that you picked your topic and understood what your assignment is, let's gather more information about the topic and organize it. Think about how you want to "tell the story" about the topic. What is the main point about your topic? How do you want to support it?
PLACES TO START
Here are some general databases *that the Lindsey library subscribes to* to help you start your research. They are multidisciplinary, meaning that they cover a whole spectrum of subjects and their interconnected relationships. Take a look at what subtopics piqued your interest and we can expand into other, more specific databases OR enhance your search on these databases.
Please note you need to log in with your myLWC information before you can access these databases.
Here is another general place on the World Wide Web you can use *without* your myLWC log-in.
OUTLINE & ORGANIZE
*Still unsure on how to summarize an article?* Check out this webpage from Infobase that answers common questions about article summarizations.
TRY THE 5WS TEST
The 5Ws can help clear up confusion when trying to find trustworthy sources. Just remember to ask these questions while looking for credible information!
Who wrote it?
Are they an expert?
Can you find more information on the author?
What is the purpose of this resource?
What information is included-or excluded?
Where was this published?
Where does the information come from?
Why is this resource useful?
Why is this resource better than other ones?
Why should you use the information here?
Citation: Sarah Kantor. "Flushing the CRAAP Test.pdf" Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group (AABIG) (2018)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sarah-kantor/2/
We found our information. We organized it. Now, let's piece it together into a draft of your paper.
PRO TIP: Find out if your instructor wants the assignment in a certain format. That way, you can write in that format as you go. This will save you time during the editing stage.
Once you completed your draft, applaud yourself. The hardest part is over! Now it is time to edit your draft.
Didn't meet the page or word count minimum? See where you can expand a thought or two more.
Are you over the page or word count? See where you can condense some thoughts. Tip: Sometimes, it is better to be clear and concise.
Remember: Citation/Reference pages may not count towards your overall word count or page total. Check with your instructor or assignment rubric for direction.
WHEN IN DOUBT, *CITE YOUR SOURCES*
Everyone deserves credit for their work, including work you create. It is a common courtesy to make sure no one is cheated out of something they did, made, said, etc. Always check for the proper permissions before using information.
You NEED a citation when:
You DO NOT NEED a citation when: