Someone who wants to start writing a paper should focus on introducing the essay's basic context. This means explaining the topic itself, as well as the approach the writer is taking.
Before starting a paper, the writer may wish to take some preparatory measures:
- Looking at the assignment's code words and using them as directions for the paper. For example, "analyze" or "compare."
- Determine which questions would explore the paper's topics and identify important ideas to convey.
- Find important sources that explore the topic in full, and evidence for claims.
- Establish some goals and main ideas.
- Write a paper plan to work from.
After preparing for the writing process, students should form an introduction. This should include:
- An overview of what the essay's topic is and the context the student is exploring it in.
- A statement that establishes the essay's theme, or how the student is to explore the essay.
- An introduction that provides the reader with direction. For example, when writing a paper on the French Revolution, the student could state the event they are beginning with and how it affected the revolution's outcome.
Students who are struggling to begin their paper may wish to engage in brainstorming and free writing. This means creating lists of ideas and writing down concepts as they enter the student's head. Doing this is an effective way to begin the creative process.