What is This All About? - Some Ways To Establish a Focus
you have collected many ideas for a complex paper, you may still
be uncertain about your focus. Re-read your collection of ideas
to make sure that you haven't drifted away from the assigned topic
or essay question. To establish a focus, you can
- Notice "nuggets" of meaning: what are the
undeveloped chunks of insight which are loaded with meaning
for you? Can you develop a paper by explaining, "polishing"
these ideas so a reader will agree with your viewpoint?
- Sum up your ideas in a "nutshell": in one
sentence, what do you think? Is this assertion worthy of a paper?
- Look for sources of tension: what ideas suggest two
different angles or perspectives? Is there even a contradiction
which you can explore?
- Imagine an opposing viewpoint: who would disagree with
you and how can you state your opinion persuasively?