- Identifying the concepts:
Each discipline has its own unique concepts. Identify them (mostly in the order details) and let them feature prominently throughout the paper
It entails summarize all the articles by writing notes/phrases for each of them.
It entails re-organizing the notes made in step 2. Do some more in-depth back-and-forth peeks between the findings of the sources and the concepts mentioned in the instructions. Try to take a position that you can easily justify using the findings you learn from the summary of the readings. Of course the findings should all point back to the concepts mentioned in the instructions and especially the title of the paper.
- Re-writing, re-organizing, and proofreading:
It entails writing the final paragraph-form draft based on outline provided in the instructions. This is the time you should link up the ideas portrayed in the various articles and rearrange findings into similar themes related to the topic and outline (e.g. introduction, body, literature review, Discussion/suggested solutions, conclusion). The idea is to ensure that your essay does not sound like an annotated bibliography or checklist in which paragraph 1 summarizes the first article, paragraph 2 summarizes the second article etc.
To avoid a scenario where your essay sounds like a checklist of sources arranged in paragraph form, rearrange the article/source summaries into themes dictated by the outline/subtopics suggested by the client. E.g. in the Literature Review section, you should compare areas of emphasis, research gaps, contradictions, controversies as pointed out in notes for each source.
While writing down the discussion/ proposed solution, focus should be on what authors have suggested as the best way forward in relation to the given topic. In this case, you may need to go back to the abstract/conclusion/recommendation sections of the most relevant articles/sources to lift up the right words and ideas that you may not have written down accurately during the second (note-taking) stage.
Important points to note
- The note-taking step is the most critical stage because it takes the burden of poring over tones of information off your shoulders in order to succeed in composing a comprehensible essay even when the sources provided are voluminous and conceptually complex.Once you have your notes, you’ll not need to dig through the numerous articles again, except in the occasional instances where you want to clarify something, such as suggested solutions.
- Whenever you are summarizing sources such as journal articles, you can always get all the information you want by focusing on only three areas: Abstract, Introduction, and Conclusion/recommendations.
- The more you progress from one step to the other as outlined above, the less you become dependent on the overwhelming number of required articles/books/readings.