Working with Support

Once you think you have enough support, make sure to categorize that support using a method that makes sense to you.  Some methods you might try are the following:

  • naming each block of support with its main concept
  • cutting and pasting
  • color coding the text
  • numbering the supporting concepts and coding in the numbers by each notation

You’ll have an easier time writing if you categorize and organize your support in some way before you move into writing a draft.

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Categorizing your support–and naming the categories–will also help you see whether you have:

  • enough support (if there are categories with very little information)
  • slanted support (categories overloaded with information)
  • inappropriate support (categories that are too general), or
  • support only marginally related to your thesis (category names that don’t quite relate to the angle in the thesis)

Keep in mind that writing is an iterative process, and that you may need to go back and make appropriate adjustments at any time.

Also, if you’re writing a research essay, remember to note all citation information needed.