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Research Writing and Tools Support

This page contains information to support researchers with various research tools..

Step 3: The Big Picture

Man looking through binoculars

The third step of the five-step strategy, toward improving your scholarly research writing is to look at the “Big Picture”.

Start by asking yourself,

  • “What is the overall information (concept, claim, argument, idea, or key issue) I am wanting to convey”?
  • “How can I break down (categorize and separate) the information into smaller parts (chunks)”?

Applying the Strategy

Funnel graphic with Theme 1, Theme 2, Theme 3, Theme 4

1)      Use a graphic organizer (e.g., concept map, classifying table, flow chart) to: 

  • Categorize the larger themes (concepts, claims, arguments, ideas, or key issues).
  •  Identify and separate each theme (concept, claim, argument, idea, or key issue) into smaller parts.
  • Keep breaking down the smaller parts until you have exhausted your efforts.

2)      Present each part in a logical order (smaller to larger or larger to smaller) by

         explaining how each part is related to each other and how each part fits into the “Big


  • You can then decide how you would like to organize each part (concept, claim, argument, idea, or key issue).
  • For organization, the larger themes could be headings and the smaller parts could be paragraphs.

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