I am teaching a introductory course this month, the first course for matriculating juniors.
This week, we discussed the academic writing process, and I felt as if I were knocked upside my head. All of the students admitted to never using an outline before writing a business report or academic paper. Maybe I need to remind us all of the importance of outlining our thoughts and research before composing the introduction, body and conclusion of our work.
I offer the following as an initial attempt at describing a proper writing sequence.
- Review the objective and expectations of the assignment
- State the objective of the paper
- Research material defense (support) of the thesis and each argument to be presented
- Apply the hamburger approach to presenting data
- Introduce the thesis
- Develop and defend the thesis and each argument
- Conclude by restating the thesis and offering a call to action or application of the thesis
- After the paper is drafted, reviewed, proofread, and corrected, compose the abstract (120 words or fewer that describes the thesis and conclusion presented in the paper).
Each paper should be a hamburger (introduction, body, conclusion); each paragraph should be a hamburger (introduction, body, conclusion).