Creating a Paper

Some tips on well-written reports, term papers, and so on.

You may be thinking, “Uh, don’t you mean, Writing a Paper? ”

No, I actually mean creating.  Constructing a well-written paper is the same as producing a famous painting or composing a popular piece of music or writing a bestselling novel.  Why is that?  Something that is done well and “speaks” to the looker/listener/reader is created over time—not spit out from a laser printer.  Creativity is also a combination of inspiration and planning and structure.

I once thought that famous pieces of art and music were the product of a genius mind that just did it once and it was done.  I was wrong.

  • The most famous paintings have carefully-chosen colors, layouts, positioning . . . and layers.  The masters painted over a painting several times.  There was no White-Out or backspace key in those days.  So, they kept at it until the painting turned out the way they wanted it.
  • The great composers wrote, scribbled out, and rewrote their masterpieces several times before they ended up with the music that is now famous.  Even the music you listen to on CDs is not the first pass of the artist.  The music you hear is usually a collaboration of the artist and the producer and anyone else in the studio.

Therefore, get used to the idea that you won’t sit down and write a paper in one pass.  You will end up writing and rewriting—and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s a creative process.

The three main points to remember about writing a paper pertain to:

  • The Introductory Paragraph
    • What
    • When
    • Where
    • Why
    • Your point
  • The Structure
    1. Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em
    2. Tell ‘em
    3. Tell ‘em what you told ‘em

You do not have to follow a pattern in your introductory paragraph, except for the last sentence (tell them your point or the conclusion you’ve already made).  How you go about telling the reader what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and why it happened will be up to you—but include all those facts.

And as far as the structure goes, you may be thinking that what I pointed out is pretty simplistic.  Well, that’s true; but, the reason is a very good one.  As humans, this is the way we think.  This is the way we process information concerning ideas.  We want to know where all the upcoming information is going to lead us.  Then we want to know all the details.  Then we want to be reminded of the point that was just made that ties it together.  When ideas are presented to us on paper or through speaking, this structure helps us conceptualize and process the information.

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