The first round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with eight writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked four of these eight, and over the next week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. First up? Writing in General!
Writing can be an anxiety inducing activity, especially if you’re penning more than a personal rant on your social media account or a simple to do list for a busy weekend. An analysis essay for an English class, a research paper for a history course, or a narrative for a creative writing class takes time. These assignments can’t be finished in one day, unless you’re a painfully dedicated individual, or a lazy one who wants to finish an assignment for the sake of completing it. The point is writing is daunting. It can be a huge undertaking, and it’s important to understand a lengthy project like this requires more than twenty minutes of your day. It requires planning and dedication. Think of it as a marathon, kiddoes. It ain’t a sprint.
Writing anything of a respectable nature means you must think beyond your own thoughts and beliefs. You have to observe and connect to other material so you can make your own writing better. Think of yourself as a young Miss Marple or Perry Mason…or a socially awkward Sherlock for you young’uns. Ask questions. Research. String ideas together. Outline. Challenge yourself. Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and to get you thinking about ways to write a successful essay, below are just a few suggestions to keep you hydrated on that metaphorical 26.2 miles it takes to get through that damn paper…
…I know it’s hard, but get off your phone or Netflix account and pick up a book, a copy of Cosmopolitan or Sports Illustrated – whatever tickles your fancy – and read. It expands your vocabulary and helps you better understand writing structures.
Take a piece of paper whenever you’re stuck for ideas or have no idea where an essay is going and write until you fill the page. Whatever comes to mind. This will help with writer’s block.
More Practical Things:
Yes, this is a shameless plug. The Learning Hub has many handouts that break down a variety of writing topics, including but not limited to the writing process, research methods, and even those diabolical citation styles most of us can’t stand.
You see this ad on YouTube all the friggin’ time. It’s an app that detects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style errors. It is your own personal high-tech proofreader.
A website that offers articles and ideas to help students tackle writing issues.
A blog for writers and journalists. It also features Fifty Writing Tools: A Quick List, which is an assortment of podcasts dedicated to writing topics.
A website that helps writers develop and hone their summarizing and paraphrasing skills.
A website dedicated to English as a Second Language students, teachers, and academics.
You see, with all the help in the world, you can overcome the struggle of writing. The above list is but a small number of ways to push through the pain and write anything you want. So, stop marinating in self-doubt and fear, and get writing. Or don’t and fail. That’s up to you. Not my problem.