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Thinking on Paper

Steps to writing:

Write out everything you can think of; this is a process to discover and identify your thoughts. Record everything, including potentially conflicting information.

Build a topical and a sequential draft: read over the notes, sort according to topic.

Label paragraphs/pages, add comments based on the observed topics and headings: this is the topical draft. Then rewrite with minimal corrections except for collecting the different pieces of prose under headings and accounting for comments.

The sequential draft is discovering a common sense sequence among the topics: mark out the ideas in the draft as leading, supporting evidence, conclusion, etc. Think about the arrangement of ideas that would suit the reader. Also include connections between these in the margins.

Incorporating notes from the sequential draft and the associated comments, perform the document while paying attention to format, style, grammar, tone, accessibility, etc.

Write to the audience.