Katie DaRin: Hi! My name is Katie DaRin with SMARTHINKING.com and today we are talking about how write a better college paper. In this next section we are going to talk about choosing a genre, topic, and scope.
When choosing a genre, topic, and scope, it's important to read the assignment description carefully and look for key words in the assignment description to help determine the genre. Make sure that you are achieving the purpose of the assignment. It's difficult to choose a topic. A good way to help you decide is to organize your thoughts beforehand. There are two common brainstorming methods - a concept map and free writing.
In a concept map you will start with the main topic including sub topics to organize your thoughts.
Free writing is a way to just lay out everything you know beforehand and what you still need to achieve.
Once you've brainstormed, you'll have all the information in front of you and it will be easier to decide. Brainstorming will help you decide if you know enough about the topic or if you know how to tackle research in it. Once you develop the topic, you have to develop the claim which is the thesis. It's important to make your thesis first, so you know what your essay is trying to prove and accomplish.
Coming up next we are going to talk about research outlines and writing a thesis.