Sitting with a blank paper on your desk and a pen in hand can be quite frustrating. Writing the opening sentence of your assignment is probably much difficult than writing the rest of it. In fact, the truth is writing itself is difficult and getting in the mood of it is even harder. However, the important thing to know here is that it’s not impossible. And if your friends can do it, so can you. Start by forgetting it’s a chore and treat it as a healthy exercise instead that can guarantee you success, good grades and appreciation of your teachers.
Next, scroll down and read this article to discover 11 ways to get cracking on that assignment.
1. Make Time, make Plans
As you already know the entire process of doing an assignment is not something that can just be wrapped up in a few hours, you need to create a plan for yourself on how to go about the entire process. While this may seem irrelevant at first like we already said, writing is a method and a method requires some planning. Even the best writers have a routine they follow. Putting thought and time into your writing will enhance its quality. So keep pre-planned chunks of writing time in your schedule to ensure you always write with a fresh mind.
2. Be sure of What you Want to Write
A single topic can be treated in multiple ways, and can be viewed from various aspects. How do you want to treat your essay? Which viewpoint do you want to represent? Get clear on the concept you want to focus on and keep the bare minimum information handy. Use this information as a reminder so that you never lose sight of your topic or the slant you’ve taken. Also, keep a list handy of all the pointers that’ll go into making your final essay. Things like what is the word limit, your reading list, your ideas and views, etc. should be a part of it. Keep referring to this list and strike off the portions that you’ve already covered.
3. Keep your Interest Alive
To ensure this, you have to pick a topic that interests you. Don’t just pick an issue that just seems appealing on the surface. Do your research and then decide whether it can hold your interest on a long term. Your fascination with your chosen subject will reflect on your writing and improve the overall quality of your essay considerably. Yes, there can be scenarios in which you don’t have the power to choose your own topic and have to work with whatever’s thrown at you. When that happens, it’s your duty to pick an aspect of it that catches your fancy and present that aspect in your paper. Choosing an interesting topic can make writing fun instead of a dull exercise you just want to get done with.
4. Ask Yourself certain Questions before Writing
Quite a few rhetorical questions can give you a good idea of how to proceed. Questions such as –
Who’s my audience?
Why would they be interested in my paper?
What do they already know about my topic?
What do they need to know and what do they expect to be made known?
What is the purpose of my essay? Is it to summarize, analyze, present forth an argument, simply narrate an incident, observe or examine?
Answering these questions can help you know how to proceed and which style to write in. It can make the area of research you have to focus on much easier too since you’d already know about the kind of information and data you need to back up your essay.
5. Start Somewhere in the Middle
In medias res (roughly translated to ‘in the middle of things’) as the students of literature would call it, starting with the middle portions of your assignment can actually help you to build towards a solid introduction and conclusion. Even though the first few lines can either make or break your essay, there’s no need to pressurize yourself and start from the very beginning. No rule states you have to do that. You can keep going backwards and forwards as ideas take shape in your mind. It’s good to allow yourself some flexibility.
6. Or Start Small
Don’t expect to have a thundering argument right at the starting of your assignment. The first few paragraphs are made to expose your readers to the basic concept of your assignment. Build up to the central argument slowly and gradually and do not panic if you haven’t come up with a punch-line yet. Once you get into your writing mode, your thoughts will flow naturally, and you’d be amazed at how well you can write.
7. Get the Outline of the Way
While following a specified structure may seem very restrictive, it can help you create a rough outline of your essay in a jiffy. Keep a timeline for each of the five paragraphs of your essay as well and keep tabs on the length of each of these sections. Being organized and clear can even help stimulate your creativity as you already know what fits in where and you can just elaborate. This is the time when you should create your first rough draft.
8. Fix on a Working Title at the Very Beginning
It’s okay if you do not use this as your final title, but fixing your working title can take immense pressure off you so that you can finally get down to the writing process. Just make sure it justifies the subject matter you’re touching upon in your essay. You can go back to this title after you’re done writing a significant portion of your essay and see if it’s still working. If it’s not, it’ll be much easier to change the title now as you already know the crux of your matter and are no longer clueless about what you’re going to write.
9. Just Do It! (Write that is)
Now that everything you had to think of or had to plan out is out of the way get down to just writing the whole thing out. Focus all your attention on writing only and put everything else on the backburner. Don’t let even the smallest distraction come in your way and ruin your concentration. Don’t critique yourself for spelling and grammar issues or bad writing at this moment. The goal is to, simply, write. Change your initial ideas if better ideas come to your mind during the course of writing. Don’t be afraid and just let it flow.
10. But Keep your Expectations from Yourself Low
This is the primary reason why the majority of students face the writer’s block right at the very beginning. Don’t expect yourself to write one amazing line after another just when you’ve started writing. This creates an unnecessary pressure to perform. Relax and write what comes to mind. You’ll be revising it all in the end anyway. However, if you think there’s a portion of your essay that turned out way worse than you expected it to, keep in mind to go back to it after you’re done writing the entire thing. Don’t stop writing when you’re in the flow as it can hamper the other parts of your essay as well. Like we said, revision comes later. Right now it’s all about writing.
11. Revise Later
Don’t sit down to revise immediately after you’re done with your first draft. Give yourself a break and do all the things you stopped yourself from doing while writing your assignment. Take a day off from checking your work if you can and then go back to it. Analyzing your work with a clear, fresh mind will only give you better insight into it, and you’ll be able to edit it to perfection.
Employing these ways into your writing process can make it much easier to get over that initial fear of what to write and how to start. Keep getting back to this list in case you get stuck.
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