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10. a. (2) Organization

Before writing even a first draft, prepare an outline in which you organize the facts and ideas in the order that they will appear in the paper. Decide whether the most logical presentation will be chronological, topical, or a combination of the two approaches. Begin your first draft by writing an introduction, in which you sketch out the general approach that you will be following in the body of your paper. You will probably want to state the major thesis of the paper or lay out the question or questions that you will seek to answer. You may well want to make one or more statements about your topic's significance.

Follow with the development section (main body). This section will constitute most of the paper's length. Be detailed enough to communicate your information or ideas clearly to a reader who is not familiar with your subject. Finally, write a conclusion in which you state your overall understanding of the topic of the paper. This will probably involve (1) summarizing the various interpretive points which you have previously made in the body of the paper and (2) making a general interpretive statement based on those points.

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