Should I start with complete sentences or bullet points?


Some find listing bullet points an excellent way to begin writing. However, sentences are the fundamental element of essay writing, and since you must create them eventually no matter how you proceed, it makes sense to begin writing full sentences as early as possible in the process.


Strategies for Starting

Look at your weekly schedule and identify the times available for working on your major assignments and essays. If there are no times remaining for these, you will have to consider whether you are overcommitted and need to limit the time associated with some of your activities, or possibly withdraw from one or two altogether.

Roll your cursor over this common question.

Should I start with complete sentences or bullet points?

You can begin by writing in a general way about very simple things such as what you already know about the topic of the assignment, or why you love it, or hate it, or what you don’t understand and think you need to learn more about.


There are many useful starting techniques; for example, some find it useful to write sentences to complete phrases such as the following:

I think I’m going to argue that…

The thing I find most interesting about this topic is…

The most surprising discovery in my library research was…

The thing I find hard to believe about what I’ve read is…


For more such phrases and other starting techniques, see Starting Techniques under Resources.