1. Read your assignment carefully. If you have any questions about the assignment, be sure to ask your professor to clarify what they are looking for. If the assignment asks you to answer a question, make sure that you include your answer (thesis statement) in your paper's introduction.
2. Decide what research is necessary for the assignment. Make sure you have a general understanding of your topic before you begin to organize your paper. You can get help with the Research Process here.
3. Brainstorm your ideas. Using the research you've conducted and/or your experience with the topic, write down your ideas that should be included in the paper and answer the questions posed by your assignment.
4. Look at examples of the type of paper you are supposed to write. Looking at how others have opened their paper and organized their ideas can help you visualize how your paper should look.
5. Organize your ideas in an outline. By mapping out your thesis statement with your ideas and supporting examples, you know what you will write, which makes the process less overwhelming.
6. Write your introduction. The introduction of your paper will include your thesis statement and outline your argument (much like you did in step 5) for your readers.
From the Bakersfield College Writing Center.