In my magazine class, we were talking about how to write a paper. A lot of people’s problem was they didnt even know where to start. For some reason I felt very passionate about the way I write a paper, so i shared it with the class and thought id share it with you, too.
- My professor paid a lot of mind to starting off by word vomiting, and i strongly believe in this first step as well. Dont think about the finished product, just think about everything you have to say about your topic and get it down on paper. Worry about the technicalities later. (At least make sure each of your thoughts or points is its own paragraph so the next steps will be easier.)
- For journalism, you cant (most of the time) personally say something and just leave it be. In other words, you cant be your own credentials. Find reliable sources who can display the facts for you. Take these facts straight from the website/source and put them in the document right next to the point youre supporting. Again, worry about quoting and intertwining data and idea later.
- Just as you need facts to support what you say, you generally need someone else to say for you what you want to say. So, you need quotes. Do some interviews and then put quotes right after the facts and points they coorelate with. No organization, just plug it in
- Next, look at your points and organize them in an order that makes sense.
- Make your quotes, sources and word vomit ideas into coherent paragraphs. Dont forget transitioning sentences!!!
- Have someone else read it. Ask them if the structure make sense and if the facts and quotes correlate well with their paragraphs. Have them find places in the paper where theyre questioning your paper because you left something out or it didnt make sense.
- Take time away from the paper. This step is so essential, in my opinion. After you come back youll be able to read your paper as if youre a stranger because youll be so disconnected from it. This step helps me easily see my mess ups. Be your own worst critic.
- Have someone else read it, again.
- Relish in your victory!