To Write or Not to Write: Useful Tips
Who on earth doesn’t face the dreaded blank page dilemma? Everyone does. It happens to all human beings who write, no matter what exactly they write. It might be a school essay, a novel, a resume, or even a letter of motivation. You just sit at the computer and get stuck.
To Write or Not to Write: Useful Tips for ‘Young Shakespears’ Who Don’t Know Where to Start Their Essays
Don’t get upset. We are here to help you write the essay. Here are recommendations that nearly always help to overcome the blank page dilemma. Ready, steady, go!
1. Make sure you understand your task
To have a clear understanding of your task is half the battle. If you know the topic and requirements of the essay (word limit, essay type, and and so on), you’re well on your way to successful writing.
2. Try to find something that interests you in your writing
One reason you might be stuck is because you don’t like your essay topic. If you do like it, consider yourself lucky to be writing about things that interest you. But let’s consider what you have to do when the essay topic makes you want to die.
The secret is to change your attitude. Look, your essay is your chance to voice what’s on your mind. So seize this chance. Think of strong arguments to prove your point of view. Share your thoughts.
3. Think of the purpose of your essay
Before you start your rough draft, define the purpose of your writing. Try to answer the following questions: For what purpose do I write the essay? What is the main point of it? What do I want to tell my reader? Answering these questions will help you form an outline.
4. Make a plan
Here you need to decide what exactly you need to say. Brainstorming is perfect for this phase. Note everything that comes to your mind in order not to forget anything later. You should also not feel obliged to start your essay from the very beginning. If you’ve got a cool idea that goes in the middle, put it down immediately. If you feel like thinking over some new ideas, shift to them right away. Follow the energy! It’s your writing and you decide how to arrange your work.
After you’ve collected all the ideas, write a rough draft. Don’t be too demanding to your first draft.
5. Employ writing techniques
What else can help you to write an essay? Try something new. For example, engage in a stream of consciousness technique (also known as freewriting) before you start writing a draft. This technique asks you to not think thoroughly, but instead just let images flow into your mind and write what you see. Your stream of consciousness writing can help you further when you go to write a first draft.
Also you can visualize your ideas, especially if you’re a visual person. Put each new idea in the circle and draw arrows to show how ideas relate to each other.
6. Concentrate on writing
The golden rule of time management is to eliminate all distractions. It means that you should not be texting your friends or watching music videos until you’re done with the essay. Yes, sometimes it’s practically impossible to force yourself to start writing. But you’ll be surprised to find that when you do finally start writing, you’ll get involved immediately in the writing process, and the thoughts will come, one by one, into your head.
Here’s another idea for you: Try using a timer. It can be Tomato Timer. Work for 25 minutes without interruptions , then take a short break and start working again.
Tips to make sure your essay is absolutely awesome:
1. Allow some time for research
Yes, you can have some ideas before you research and start writing. Note them down and keep them until you put together the first draft. Nevertheless, if you don’t study some interesting materials or conduct some research, your essay might turn out to be rather shallow. That will not make your instructor happy.
2. Think of your reader
Who’s your reader? Is it your instructor or classmate? Keep an eye on your writing style, remembering that you need to use relevant phrases and present persuasive arguments.
3. Mind your essay’s structure
Figure out which ideas go into the opening paragraph, which of them go into the main body, and which ones are perfect for the conclusion.
4. Don’t forget to revise
It’s not over yet! The last thing you need to do is to carefully reread what you’ve written and correct mistakes. You can ask a friend to take a look at your work and help you – your friend might spot something that you’ve missed. It would also be great to check your essay for plagiarism. Even though you may think your writing is original, it’s always better to make sure there are no similarities to other documents on the Internet.
That will do. Now it’s time for you to get back to your essay! Close all browser windows, turn off your cell phone, and just start writing.
Lynn Usrey, a newbie essayist and freelance writer. After graduation from University of Florida at 2013 she has been working as a freelance editor and proofreader. Also she runs a writing course in Orlando, Florida. Visit her LinkedIn page.