Preparing For an Essay

Preparing For an Essay
A lot of the work involved in writing essays actually happen in the preparation stages, from the initial research to formulating your main thesis. Doing proper work on this end ensures that your essay is off to a good start, which, hopefully, translates towards the rest of the process.
When you're at this first stage of essay composition, here are the things you should look out for.

Start from a broad topic, then trim down. Which particular areas you eventually focus on should depend, in large part, to how your research eventually turns out. If you start out with intent to focus on a specific area but can't find enough material to work on it from your sources, don't be afraid to change topics. It's better than working with something that will end up giving you fits.
As much as possible, avoid topics that you'll have to learn from scratch. Try to stick to those you argue and reason about intelligently.
Stick to relevant information, with some attention paid to those at the fringes. Some extra information could prove useful, but make sure to choose them wisely.
Never feel like you have to agree with experts. Authority sources are just another reference - your opinions (provided that it's reasonably argued) may just be as valid.
Use your writing software as a guide. Most desktop writing tools include essay and research samples - these could prove valuable as you draw up a plan.
If you can't find supporting information, then you can't find it. Don't make up facts and don't twist statistics to suit you.

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