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Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 7 Preparing for Writing
The road to becoming a proficient academic writer is long, but it is not without guideposts offering direction. The process begins with personal preparation: allotting the time necessary to complete the work, conducting adequate research, reading the requisite books, studies, and articles, analyzing the literature, and brainstorming new ideas and arguments. Writers differ in their approach to organizing and outlining their ideas, but developing an outline creates direction for an academic paper. In addition, it is valuable to consider the expectations of an instructor or the academic community, as these expectations further guide the process of writing. Style guides and academic writing principals (e.g., reducing bias, objective language, and professional tone) provide additional guideposts. These elements allow a writer to expect consistency across the field, while also providing clear direction for formatting and writing style.
In the end, the exact process doctoral learners engage to write does not matter as much as the act of writing itself and the quality of the product. The act of staring at the blank page, filling it with one's thoughts and ideas, and sharing it with a larger community with the purpose of contributing to the field—that is the goal of academic writing.