Virtual Help icon Virtual Help

  • Chat with library staff now
  • Contact your library
Skip to main content

Planning Your Writing (Module 1 of 3)

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, brainstorming ideas, organizing your thoughts in a structured form, and creating an argument.

Top Tips

  • Be clear about what the assignment requires. Carefully read the assignment 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, ‘discuss’ is different from ‘critique’.
  • 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. Read your ideas and find the major categories.
  • Identify a pointTry to identify a point that you want to make 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 ideasCreate an organizer that captures your ideas in a form that works for you.

Additional Resources