Monday, February 10, 2014

Got a case of the word vomit? Tips on how to organize your writing...

Sometimes the mere thought of writing a paper can be overwhelming. With long papers and research assignments, the hardest part can simply be getting started.

Large amounts of information can be overwhelming especially trying to figure out how to condense your research and ideas into a shorter paper. I used to think that a 12 page paper was incredibly long, but the more research I did and the more knowledge I gained the more I realized I would need all of those pages, if not more.

The next problem is realizing where to start, finding a focus point and elaborating cohesively. The Writing Center has been my saving grace on more than one occasion to help me organize ideas.

It is helpful to have some idea of what you want to do before consulting the Writing Center for help in order to get the most out of your time.

Some strategies that have really helped me to excel in the writing process are jotting down some initial ideas. I might make an outline similar to the circle webs you may have had to do in middle school. Start with a central idea and branch off with a few related concepts that you want to cover.

The next thing I usually do is to create a rough draft and and re-read it a few times, tweaking it little by little to make it the best I can. After that point is when I'd visit the Writing Center and create a final draft with the help of the tutors.

Keep in mind that the Writing Center can help with other assignments not strictly papers. Whether you need help organizing your thoughts for an exam, or preparing a capstone project or class presentation, the Writing Center is here to help.

Happy Writing,
Dakota Gainer

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