Getting tons of academic assignments every day, a student may think: “do I really need this? What is this for?” I may assure you that skills that you are working to develop at college and university do come in handy in your future. Let us summarize: why does one need writing skills to be developed?
- In the process of learning: for writing essays, coursework, presentations, dissertation.
- In the professional life: for completion of reports, press-releases, presentations, marketing texts, etc.
- In any case: to train attention, discipline, intelligence, logic, to know how to persuade people and how to support your opinion effectively in every-day life.
How to Plan Your Time?
Every writer has his/her own way of planning time and organization of writing process. Moreover, every author has different tasks, which are defined by the genre, volume, deadlines and other parameters. Some papers are much easier to complete. For example, to write a research paper on 8 thousand words, you will need around 3 months. An essay with a literature review may take a month to be written properly, and an essay having 2-3 thousand words you will make you work on it around 2 weeks. Ernest Hemingway was written 700-800 words per day, and once he has written only 208 words and left a note “was writing urgent business letters.” This may give you an impression of how much time your e-mails take. Therefore, it is possible to set a few deadlines and plan the time accordingly.
There is a rule: any text may be improved after you look at it in a while. Isaac Asimov was revising his novels in a year after writing. Even though you most likely do not have a year, do not submit your papers as soon as you are done. Finish your draft a few days prior to the deadline. You need to have a rest, go for a walk and sleep, change your activities, to get back to text with a fresh look. Then, you will be able to find a lot of typos, adjust the style of the paper, add something important, so the paper will get more chances of being graded the way you want. However, know your limits and start editing, because sometimes, wishing to improve you may spoil the initial text.
How to Start Writing a Paper?
How, why and about what to write? There are a lot of essays written just to be submitted and forgotten. Your starting point should be understanding that you write for your reader. And now, what you start with: the selection of a topic and formulation of the title, or from creating the very first phrase?
A lot of students have a fear of a blank sheet. It turns out that most of students have a set of rituals before they actually start writing. They clean their room, try different pens, find some snacks to eat, etc. The beginners are not fully certain about their success, and the feeling that the completed work will be critically evaluated and graded by professors and/or colleagues makes them postpone the accomplishment as much as it is possible.
Some students are just perfectionists, and they judge themselves too strictly, being afraid of doing something wrong and of not knowing what to start with. To ease your work, define different roles for yourself: a creator and an editor. Do not let “editor” look at your text until the “creator” is done with writing down all the ideas in a plan.
After your plan is done, look at the key sources on the topic: maybe, you will manage to add some logical links and develop your thoughts based on the current scientific discussions or on authoritative ideas of classics. Only after this, you may go back to the text to build the logics and add links and arguments.