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Learning Portal - Writing : Planning Your Writing

Planning Your Writing

Planning is the first stage in writing. Your plan is the foundation that your writing is built on. Planning your writing involves first understanding the assignment, then brainstorming ideas, organizing your thoughts in a structured form, and creating an argument.

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Top Tips 

✓ Be clear about what the assignment requires. Carefully read the assignment guidelines before you start writing.

✓ Make sure you understand the directions you are given. Be sure that you can distinguish between the command words that are used. For example, "discussing" an article is different from "critiquing" it.

✓ Test your argument or claim. Does it make your reader ask "why"? If not, revise it until it does.

✓ Give yourself sufficient time. You will need time to do your thinking, researching, writing, and revising.

✓ Underline the keywords in the assignment. Make sure you are not missing a key part of what you are being asked to do.

✓ Turn off the critical mind. Let your ideas flow and record them.

✓ Group ideas together. Review your ideas and find major categories, trends, or connections.

✓ Identify a point. Figure out a claim that you can make (or an idea you can explore) with your ideas.

✓ Ask and answer ‘why?’ Your reader make be asking "why" when you are writing, so make sure you are also thinking of “why” you are making this point or giving this piece of information.

✓ Organize your ideas. create a diagram or outline that captures your ideas in a form that works for you.

Additional Resources

Getting Started Writing Your Paper 

Just getting started on your paper? GPRC's Writing Support Specialist Claire Pienaar breaks down how to begin the writing process in her presentation below. 


Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

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