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We are no longer accepting walk-in appointments for Friday, November 17th. We have plenty of appointments available this weekend, so make an appointment to see someone this Saturday and Sunday.
For the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closing early next Wednesday, November 22nd and won't reopen until Monday, November 27th. Please make your appointments in advance. We always accept walk-ins but we can never guarantee availability.
We are located on the 4th floor of the Central Library!
by Emily, Writing Center consultant
Sometimes we are presented with an assignment, and we just can’t get started. A great way to organize your ideas, as well as to figure out exactly where you want to go with the paper, is to make an outline. Starting out with your guidelines, you can make a very simple outline detailing what the assignment is actually asking of you. Factor in all the variables you know without doing any preparation: formatting, length, a topic if you are already given one, and any sort of insight you have as to what type of assignment this is. If it’s only a page long summary, you’ll know that you can’t go into much detail. If it’s a ten-page research paper, you’ll already have an idea of how much space you’ll need to fill.
After you make this basic outline, start brainstorming and going into more detail. If you have already been given a topic, write down any background knowledge you have on the topic. If you have to choose your own, take some time to weigh options and pick something that you will actually be interested in writing about. From there pick what your body paragraphs will be and continue to develop your thoughts. Add all of this, in brief form, to your outline.
Outlining can really be whatever you need it to be, either a way to start or sometimes even a way to get "unstuck."