Color Coding – UNC Writing Center


Suppose you’ve noticed that there are a lot
of talking animals in the novel you just read. In your paper, you want to explore why writers
so often choose to include such characters. You’ve laid out your ideas, and looking at
your content, you see more possible themes and groupings. Two groupings are whether novels have mostly
or only animal characters or mostly human characters with just a few talking animals
in the mix. Exploring that contrast might give you something
interesting to say in your paper. Another set of ideas links to your key question:
why would you have talking animals in the novel? There’s a little bit about whether the talking
animals books are good or bad, and something about the animals’ roles. There’s almost nothing about novels that don’t
include talking animals. You’d need to do some more thinking to answer
that question. At this point, you can sort your color coded
text by category. As you sort, you realize that you won’t use
everything you’ve generated. Some concepts may not be that important or
do not connect to your main ideas and you will cut those. Some material may not fit your color scheme,
which doesn’t mean it’s not important, you’ll just have to consider whether it connects
and whether you want to explore it further.

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