Writing as a process
When you are about to start to write an academic paper or thesis, you need to know that it is a developing process. While you write, read, and work on your paper, the developing process is going on continually. You often work on more than one section of the paper at the same time, and while writing you learn new things from working on one section, so you may need to go back and edit sections you thought you had finished.
The writing process: four phases
- Ideas, where you explore your ideas and creatively work with your thoghts. During this phase, tools like mindmaps and writing while brainstorming may help you. Also, during this phase, the formulation of the problem you are going to answer will become clear, so you have it as your line of direction for the rest of the process.
- Organising, where you organise your ideas and create the structure of the paper, so you can express why you are interested in the problem and which question(s) your paper/thesis is going to answer.
- Writing, where you sit down to write in earnest. In order for you not to lose the thread, you may want to keep your mindmap or the contents of the part you are working on, close to your keyboard.
- Editing, where you proofread your paper and correct both content and language, so your paper appears coherent and well worked through.
The four phases shouldn't necessarily follow one progressive line, where you need to finish one phase before you can continue the next. During the process, you will find that you will be working on several of them concurrently.
You can try using the process tool SCRIBO to get started. Login via the WAYF entrance and use your SDU login credentials.
More on writing
Writing an academic paper is more than merely your writing process.
- You need to search for information and literature on your chosen topic.
- If you are doing an empirical project, you need to read the relevant method theory, and collect and analyse your data. SAGE Research Methods may help you here.
- You have to consider how to show good scientific conduct and avoid plagiarism.
- You have to find a supervisor to support you in your field of study and supervise the process.