1 ) Choose a subject that interests you. Your instructor and the Writing Center staff
can help you limit your topic to something manageable.
2 ) Focus your subject by forming a trial thesis statement. This should be a sentence,
not a fragment.
3 ) Make a search of sources: books, magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals,
indexes, reference books, encyclopedias, etc. The MCC librarians can show you
how to use FALCON and help you locate materials.
4) Begin reading and keep track of what you find by making a working bibliography,
perhaps using a 3x5 card for each reference.
5) Take accurate and readable notes with topic headings. Write down the page
numbers for all information that you record, and always use quotation marks
around words, phrases, and sentences that you copy.
6 ) Prepare a revised thesis statement.
7) Prepare a working outline.
8) Write a first draft.
9) Document your essay with parenthetical citations showing author's last name and
relevant page number(s).
10) Revise your draft, looking for major elements such as the development of your
thesis idea and organization.
11) Prepare the Works Cited page, using a handbook or Writing Center handout for
12) Proofread carefully.