The essay writing process is not a linear sequence of reading then thinking then writing. On the contrary, you should be thinking as you read, and doing such things as building up an annotated list of sources, making reflective notes during and after reading, scribbling down new ideas, and doing more reading after writing the first draft of your essay. Importantly, you will develop new thoughts and ways of expressing them even as you write your essay, and will probably still be developing your ideas after you have handed it in.
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