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academic writing tips for students

Basic Writing Instructions For Those Who Are Struggling With Their Essays

Writing essays is a constant struggle at every level of study and in almost every single subject. Sometimes you just can’t find the right way to start, other times you can’t motivate yourself to get the creative juices flowing. There are, however, some very simple but extremely effective instructions to get through the mental block, a few of which are mentioned below.

  • Just get something down!
  • This sounds far too simple to be true, but it really works. Honestly, if you cannot think of the way to start something, start writing almost anything - as long as it pertains to the topic of the essay! Begin with an introduction, even if it as simple as saying ‘Hamlet is a Shakespearean play about a man called Hamlet.’ There is a psychological blocking effect with a blank page. So, the sooner you get something in black and white down, the sooner you can start improving it. You can go back and delete the entire first paragraph or first page, but at least it got you starting to write and to think in more depth about the subject matter. Just go for it!

  • Speak out loud
  • Although it may feel embarrassing, speaking out loud about a subject will get you thinking about it in the right way for you to start writing an essay about it. Talk about the facts that you already know, talk about the title, talk about how long it needs to be. You don’t have to speak to anyone - sometimes it can actually be better to speak to yourself, alone, in a quiet room, in fact - but just start talking about it. Just thinking isn’t enough because it’s too easy to get distracted. Talking about the topic will focus your mind and soon you’ll have plenty of things to write down.

  • Read about the topic
  • You can read your friends’ essays, published books or internet forums discussing the particular subject at hand: it simply doesn’t matter! Reading anything about the subject your essay is about will get your mind to start thinking about it more seriously and prepare you to begin writing your opinions down. It can also remind you of things that you had already learned but forgotten or introduce you to new information that will later prove invaluable in your own work. Just remember not to plagiarise anyone’s work!

 

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