UNDERSTANDING ESSAY TOPICS: A Checklist Before you plunge into research or writing, invest some time in thinking through the specific assignment you are dealing with. Remember, you are not being asked just to collect facts, but to develop and display your powers of reasoning. You can save yourself time and frustration by beginning this reasoning early in the process. Here are some steps. 1. Note which concepts or methods the topic asks you to use. Is the main requirement to find and synthesize information, to argue a point with others, or to explore your own responses? Does the assignment ask you to go into depth about some material already covered in the course? Or does it suggest that you evaluate a theory or model by applying it to an example from outside the course material? Whatever the design, an essay assignment expects you to use course concepts and ways of thinking ; it encourages you to apply course methodology . So if you are writing a paper in Sociology, for instance, write it using sociological concepts
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tentative thesis statement, Dr. Margaret Procter, fairly early stageCthat, important interpretive question, Coordinator of Writing Support