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Planning the paper

If there's one thing that you should do to have a successful writing experience, it's create a plan for your document. Please watch the video linked below to learn more:

Creating a document plan (14:34 section of the Introduction to Academic Writing)

Other resources:

Organizing your report: The pyramid outline

Students in the RRU School of Business learn the pyramiding approach to organizing a document. This resource by the World Bank Group provides similar information in an easy-to-use module, as well as samples and templates. The information provided in the module is another way of explaining the same basic principle as what is provided to School of Business students; if there are any discrepancies between the module and school materials, please follow the instructions or information provided by School of Business instructors.

How to write an undergraduate-level essay or How to write a a graduate-level essay

These guides break down the process involved in writing a paper into 12 steps and direct you to where you can find more information on each step. In particular, please refer to Create the final version of your document plan or Finalize the document plan (the information is the same in both resources, but the pages live in the different guides to writing essays).

Plan writing with PowerPoint

This writing tip explains how PowerPoint slides can be used to develop a document plan and incorporates the information from Create the final version of your document plan or Finalize the document plan. A sample template is available for download and modification.

Two approaches to writing a compare/contrast essay

This resource provides two ways to organize and plan a compare and contrast essay. If this resource doesn't correspond to the instructions for your assignment, please always give preference to the assignment descriptions. If you are unsure if these approaches align with the assignment, please speak with your instructor for further clarification regarding the assignment's instructions.

Outlining a research paper (©2011 Amy L. Stuart, Associate Professor, University of South Florida)

This resource provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process for outlining a major research paper or thesis, including suggestions on how to plan the introduction, literature review, analysis, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Project planner (SAGE Research Methods; requires RRU login)

A comprehensive guide to the stages involved in a research project, including defining a project, writing literature reviews, and writing up the final result.

The MBTI types and what they can learn about writing

The approach you use to plan your document will largely be decided by your own learning preferences. This document, adapted by Sandy McIver for MA in Leadership learners, provides an overview of each of the Myers-Briggs preference types and the preferred writing style for the type.

If you don't know your MBTI preference type, there are a number of websites that provide information and self-tests to help you determine your type. However, please keep in mind that the only true MBTI test is one that is provided and reviewed by a trained administrator. Nonetheless, the following websites will provide you with a good starting point from which to identify your own preference type: Keirsey Temperment Sorter®-II, Personality Pathways, or High Level Description of the Sixteen Personality Types.

Writing and thinking checklist

This checklist provides many of the key steps/actions/points to consider during the writing process in checklist format. The document is based on an original document created by Dr. Audrey Dallimore (faculty member in the School of Environmental Sustainability), and has been adapted with her permission.

Assignment Calculator

The assignment calculator is a tool that you can use to keep you on track and help you to meet your deadlines. Plug in the start and deadline dates of your assignment, and you'll see a breakdown of the steps to complete the assignment, along with suggested completion dates and relevant resources.

To search for more information, please click on the "Ask us" tab on the right side of the screen and type a keyword.

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