Writer's WebGlossing Your Ideas

Glossing provides a quick method to focus papers. It names the main idea shared by a group of sentences in a paragraph and allows the writer to see if this idea supports the concept of his paper. A gloss can be either a single word, a phrase, or a sentence.

One simple way to gloss is to take a section or a few sentences from the paper and ask the following questions:

The answers to these questions should be written in the margin of your rough draft. These answers should also be written in your own language. If there is a discrepancy between the answers and your intentions for your paper then editing must be done.

After asking and answering these questions, make a list of the glosses. This tactic will help to sort the ideas and see connections between the glosses.

Next, look at the connections between the glosses and the concept of your paper. Ask yourself the following questions to help you as you revise your draft:

Glossing can also be used when reading books. By writing notations in the margin of the book, it allows you to see the connections needed for conceptual analysis. These connections, in turn, will assist in writing a concise and cohesive essay. In addition, glossing builds the vocabulary which will be used in the essay.


Back to 'Glossing Your Ideas' or 'Focusing/Connecting Ideas'
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Updated February 2021, to clarify questions asked.