How to Stop Dreading Essay Writing and Meet Your Deadline?Essay writing can be a daunting task. Many students dread writing because, in part, they don't understand the basic mechanics involved. As with most any assignment or job, writing becomes less difficult with practice and by using proper tools. The writing process becomes less intimidating when the student understands basic organization and research techniques, tools that make the task less daunting and the results of greater quality.
First, set and meet personal deadlines. This is especially important when the writing assignment is perceived as difficult or drudgery. Open a word document, set up the formatting style with page numbers, heading and working title. Make a works cited page with a dummy example of a source. Create a schedule, the date to complete the research, the first draft written, and finished product. Break it down further if needed, for example: one day for book and periodical, another day for internet research and schedule a few pages per day for the first draft and final work. Plan to finish at least two days prior to turn-in day so the essay can be reread and polished with a "fresh set of eyes." Completing each step gives the writer a sense of accomplishment while reducing the sense of enormity of the project.
A good place to begin an essay is to lay a sound foundation by doing preliminary research. Being familiar with or interested in a subject makes research seem more like a hobby, practically fun, but this is not always the case. Researching a less familiar or interesting topic doesn't have to be a grueling experience, however. First become acquainted with the subject. It may become more intriguing after all. Wikipedia is a quick way to learn at least the basics of a topic but, and this cannot be stressed enough, is not an acceptable academic source. Knowing something about a topic leads the student to ask better questions therefore to perform quality research. The instructor will set expectations and guidelines for suitable resources but blogs, discussion boards and personal web sites, among others, are never acceptable.
The library is the best place to find an assortment of credible sources including books, peer-reviewed journals and articles in addition to free access to the internet. A student can find a quiet corner to concentrate, free of normal dorm room distractions. Time spent in the library is more productive. What may have seemed an arduous task is completed with greater effectiveness and efficiency. The librarian can assist in finding appropriate sources for the essay and direct the student to other library resources including tutoring help.
Keep track of researched information by taking brief notes. Organization saves time and aggravation in the long term. If writing a lengthy essay on a complex subject, highlight pertinent information including citation information. This will help relocate information and comes in handy when writing the works cited page. Use sticky notes for books and highlight marker for photocopied book pages and articles. Utilizing notes, determine the structure of the essay then make a preliminary outline which can be adjusted as the essay is being written and additional information or revelations of the subject is revealed during the first draft.
Use the first draft to group gathered information into paragraph form but don't obsess on perfect cohesive logical sequencing. Just let ideas flow. Now the hard part is done. Set the paper aside for a while. Rewrite the introduction and conclusion, reorganize the paragraphs if necessary and fix grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure issues. Ask a friend to read it. Again, fresh eyes catch mistakes.