For this research paper assignment, I used a drafting process which was entirely new to me. Once I narrowed down my list of potential research topics, I refined the questions I sought to answer through my research. After trudging through multiple volumes about my topic, taking notes and marking pages along the way, I was able to form a rough thesis statement. With my rough thesis and research as guidance, I word-vomited out a bullet-pointed outline of my ideas. This stage was like a rough draft for an outline. The next day, I refined the outline, removing nonsense and articulating the stronger points central to the thesis. Writing the bullet-point outline kept my ideas concise and focused, so I continued working in that format, elaborating down to sub-subpoints to articulate my idea as completely as possible. At this point the “outline” exceeded the length requirements for the assignment. To this uber-outline, I injected quotes from my research so that I wouldn’t have to continuously search for quotes while trying to write. When it came to actually putting together my rough draft, I only had to copy and paste what I had already written in the outline, for the most part.
This was by far the most painless composing process I’ve ever used, and it was virtually free of writer’s block since I was mostly just spewing ideas into the outline.