Writer's Guidebook - Getting Started
This page covers a variety of writing topics that are necessary to consider and understand when trying to start the writing process. For additional help please consider making an appointment with a Writing Center Consultant.
It is critical when beginning a paper to know and understand the paper's topic. Research papers require many hours of researching the subject and reading the appropriate resources before the actual writing begins. Please visit the GSU library's website for links to finding research in books, journals, and more!
The thesis statement is sometimes called the focus statement, and papers may also contain a purpose statement. Thesis statements are absolutely critical for writing a well focused and organized paper. Do not attempt to write a paper without first creating a thesis statement. For help understanding what a thesis statement is and how to create one, please view the links below.
Some papers may also require a purpose statement. For further understanding of the difference between thesis and purpose statements, and how to write a purpose statement, please view the following link:
Outlining is a valuable tool to use when beginning the writing process. It helps the writer determine if he/she has enough key points for the paper and information to support the thesis. It also helps the writer stay organized and focused when beginning to write the paper. For more information on the benefits of outlining and how to create one, please see the links below.
Every paper needs a topic sentence that begins the discussion of each new paragraph or section. For more information on understanding and creating topic sentences, please see the links below.
Writing a paper using ideas and knowledge from outside sources (anything that is not your own and that is not common knowledge) can lead to plagiarism if not documented properly or paraphrased appropriately. For more information on what plagiarism is, how to document sources, and how to properly paraphrase, please view the links below.
When writing a paper, it is important to keep in mind the audience you are addressing. Is the piece of writing for the everyday reader? Is it for a professional body that is familiar with the subject matter? For help in understanding what it means to write for an audience and how to do so, please view the links below.
Every writer may have a time when he/she experiences "writer's block". Though there is no fool proof solution to end this unfortunate annoyance, there are some helpful hints that may aid in overcoming it. Please see the links below for more help.
Many students find that they have not started a writing assignment soon enough to finish it or finish it well. It is crucial to a quality paper that enough time is allotted for the researching, writing, rewriting, and editing processes to be completed.
The University of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator can help you calculate how much time you may need to complete your assignment.