After you have constructed a preliminary outline with your own position and ideas, you’ll want to finalize your thesis statement and add outside support to your outline by conducting some exploratory research.
It’s important to recognize the part that research plays in the prewriting process. You may discover good ideas from your research that will lead you back to some of the earlier techniques you turned to for generating ideas, like brainstorming, freewriting and keeping a journal. Remember that the writing process is recursive; don’t get discouraged by going back to previous work and refining it with later ideas and information.
When tasked with writing a research paper or starting the research process for any writing assignment, look to chapter 4, “The Research Process,” chapter 5, “Academic Integrity and Documentation,” and chapter 6, “Using Library Resources.”