Summary of Research, Organize, Compose

Before beginning your search, you need to define your topic.  If necessary, brainstorm by yourself or with your peers to find key words or key concepts.  Once done, highlight the key words to be used for you research.  A good tip is to start your search on Wikipedia.  You’ll get a good sense of the subject.  You can then start to organize your ideas into different patterns thus providing a plan of action.

Use different media when conducting your search.  You can use a formal research method which would include the internet, the library, the primary sources or you can conduct your own formal experiment.  When using the internet, be sure to use different search engines and search on separate days since the results will most likely be different (search engines use different algorithms and new results/links are posted every day).   You can also skim through the resources of what you’ve found (books, articles, web pages…) and that’ll help you identify common genres.  Don’t forget to paraphrase information you’ve found so that you don’t waste time wondering why you chose that specific resource. 

Once you’ve started your search, narrow or broaden your subject.  Sometimes if you’re too specific it is harder to find the information.  You are now ready to begin writing your outline and/or concept map.  This helps organize your thinking and avoids wasting time on the general structure. 

Once you know the direction you’re going to take, start composing.  Make a rough draft and write down anything that is pertinent to your subject.   Have a dictionary and a thesaurus handy once you’re ready to write the final draft.  Review your paragraphs and make sure that these are effective.