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How to Write a Graduate-Level Essay

If academic writing is a distant memory for you, or perhaps something you've never done, the prospect of starting to research and write an academic essay can be intimidating. If you're a new graduate student, please click here to hear a short pep talk. Before you start working on a specific assignment, please view the resources linked below to receive an introduction to academic research and writing at RRU:

Now that you're ready to begin the process of writing a specific assignment, this guide will take you step-by-step through the process of researching and writing an assignment with resources, tips, and suggestions from both the Library and the Writing Centre. You can work through each step by using the "next" navigation on each page, or you can use the list below to jump into a particular topic. To begin, click on the first link below.

  1. Understand the assignment
  2. Create a preliminary document plan
  3. Draft your thesis statement
  4. Research the topic
    1. Become familiar with the information landscape
    2. Select the appropriate search tool
    3. Develop effective searches
    4. Beyond keyword searching
    5. Evaluate your resources
    6. Read and absorb the information you find
    7. Use a citation manager to organize your research
  5. Finalize your document plan
  6. Double-check your research
  7. Start writing the first draft
  8. Overcoming writer's block
  9. Revise the draft
  10. Edit the draft
  11. Prepare the final version
  12. Submit the assignment