The following six steps will help you write a paper that’s organized and well thought out. Step 1. Choose a topic u If you have a choice, choose a topic you’re familiar with, and one that you want to learn more about. u Choose a topic that’s not too broad. (Instead of writing about the Civil War, write about one battle.) u Make sure there is plenty of information available on the topic you choose. Step 2. Gather information u Information on almost any subject is available online. Finding good, solid, reliable information, however, isn’t always easy. A library is still a great place to go for information. Librarians can also be very helpful in locating hard-to-find information. u Create a system for gathering and organizing infor- mation. Use 3 x 5 index cards, a notebook, and/or printouts from online resources. u Record accurate information for each source you use (title, author, page numbers, publisher, etc.). When obtaining information online, record the URL and date of access. You’ll need this information for footnotes, bibliographies, or a Works Cited page. Writing Steps