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Online Guide to Writing and Research

The Writing Process


Getting from Notes to Your Draft

Summarizing Your Ideas

Another way to get your ideas flowing is to briefly summarize what you want to accomplish when writing your paper. This summary won’t be included in your paper but is just an unofficial way to brainstorm and prepare yourself for a specific path or focus. When you summarize your ideas into a paragraph, be sure that what you say you want to accomplish fits the expectations of your assignment. 

Summary Example


Let’s say your assignment is to write a research paper about an issue or news event in your field of study and your professor wants you to take a stance on the issue.  


My field of study is psychology, and I have been really interested in how excessive use of social media is affecting our youth. I want to show how excessive use of social media has affected mental health, what the warning signs are that mental health is deteriorating, and what solutions can be implemented to prevent this issue from continuing to affect so many kids. I will have to find credible research that supports my stance: Excessive use of social media is negatively affecting children’s mental, physical, and social health and we must find other ways for them to meet their social needs that involve face-to-face interactions, the outdoors, and activities that are not behind a screen. My research should provide evidence for my stance and examples to back up my claims. 


Key Takeaway

  • Summarizing your plan and matching it with the keywords in your assignment instructions will help you generate ideas and give you focus

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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing