Stage 4: Organise

Steps in this stage:

  • Create an outline of the different parts of your assignment and the order in which they will go.
  • Organise your notes to fit under the different parts on your outline.
  • Write a draft copy, citing any sources used (remember to write your introduction last).
  • Revise and edit your draft copy.
  • Create a reference list (also called a bibliography).

Questions to ask:

  • Do I have to present my assignment in a particular way? If so, how will I structure the information I have collected?
  • Do I have enough information?
  • Do I need to use all the information I have found? Is it all relevant to the assignment?


Tools to help you complete this stage:

Organising notes into a good copy
Prewriting Strategies for Organising Ideas How to review your notes and organise the information you have collected (based on essay writing but can be adapted for other types of research and writing).
Create Information Connections Look under the ‘Resources’ heading on the right-hand side for more information & relevant links.
Visit our Essay and Report Writing page for a list of more useful resources to help you organise your notes into a good copy.
Graphic Organisers can also help you to sort out your ideas and information into a structured format. Some of these may be useful to you at this stage in the research process:
  • Timeline For ordering events over a period of time
  • Time Order Organise details about different events that are part of a topic
  • Compare and Contrast Compare two different topics by listing similarities and differences.
  • Persuasion Map Create a persuasive argument about a topic.
Avoiding plagiarism: Summarising, Paraphrasing, Referencing & Bibliographies

Plagiarism is copying other people’s work and claiming it as your own. It is important that when writing an essay or assignment you either use your own words and images, or reference any ideas or images that have been created by someone else.

Summarising & Paraphrasing Information (i.e. writing it in your own words)

Summarising a Text
An interactive resource from BBC Bitesize that teaches you how to summarise information.

Sum it Up
A printable PDF worksheet that encourages you to find the main words in a text, then summarise the text in twenty words.

A short guide explaining how to paraphrase (that is, how to write information in your own words while keeping the main idea intact).

Paraphrasing Without Plagiarising
Provides examples to demonstrate how to paraphrase correctly.


Referencing and Writing a Bibliography

See the Referencing & Bibliographies page for more information about in-text referencing, citing sources and creating a bibliography.

Editing and Proof-Reading

Editing and Proof-Reading An easy-to-follow guide from QUT that outlines the difference between editing and proof-reading, including strategies for both.

Prepare to Present Tips on revising and editing your work.

Tools for collaboration

If you are completing a group assignment you may like to use the following websites to work together (using separate laptops) and store your information in one place.

Wiggio Create to-do lists, upload shared files, add dates to the shared calendar and more.

Evernote Share, collaborate, and discuss in real time . Automatic syncing between any phone or computer you use.