Don’t be scared if you have trouble getting started your paper, all writers have experienced this more than once in their lives.
Paper writing isn’t an easy task as you might think before. It requires a lot of skills, time and concentration. Sometimes you can spend days on your paper, don’t be surprised. Inexperienced writers think that there is nothing complicated in paper writing, however, if you are limited by format and topic boundaries, writing the paper becomes much more complicated task than composing an email to your friend. Here we will list and describe some techniques that will help you start writing and concentrate on your topic and main idea that you want to deliver to your audience. These techniques are listing and free-writing.
Listing is a simple way to produce information in writing. If you are creating your own paper, you can make a list of potential subjects. If you are responding to teacher’s directions, you can list what you already know or need to know about the issue of the paper. Begin by giving your list a title, a prompt that will evoke events, impressions, and ideas. Write the title at the top of a new page in your notebook, and then, working down the page as quickly as possible, list any word or phrase that comes to mind. Don’t stop to edit, organize, or evaluate the items in your list. Merely spill them down the page in whatever form they occur to you. Don’t be unenthusiastic by occasional pauses or by the strange ideas you wrote down to keep the list going. The task is to list as many as possible. It doesn’t mean that each phrase should be useful from the very beginning, you need all that occurs in your mind.
Then you will need to evaluate your list. After completing your list, scrutinize your information. What subject dominates your list? Can you identify other topics? What questions do you want to develop in greater detail in your paper? Underline or star the items that seem most promising. Circle and connect those that seem to go together. Pick a word or phrase and start another list. You may need most of the information or only a few fragments or sentences on your list in your paper writing. But one of those sentences may be the one that points the way to your subject, audience, and purpose in your paper.
Free-writing helps you write down as quickly as possible what you can remember. It encourages you to remember incoherent blocks and to write in phrases and sentences. In this technique, you don’t have to worry about writing perfect sentences. You write for a sustained period (usually 10-15 minutes) without stopping. Once you finished, you will have time to look it over and useful abstract ideas. You can practice free-writing as an unfocused or focused activity. In unfocused free-writing, you merely begin writing, transcribing onto the page the first ideas that pop into your head and then allowing your mind to wander to other subjects. While you are filling up the page, you may discover a provocative word or forgotten episode that leads to more complex ideas that can be helpful in your paper writing process.
It is often difficult to evaluate unfocused free-writing because the sentences slide from subject to subject, never stopping long enough to develop. Underline words or phrases that seem significant to your paper. Do they deal with different topics? Do they have a common theme? Does one evoke a particularly powerful memory? Answering these questions may help you discover information for focused paper writing.
Very often students find that paper writing inhibited at the times when we most want or need to write. Corresponding blocks afflict us. In this case, students need the help of professional writers to break these blocks and to write their academic papers successfully.
In the present section of this chapter we will first examine the relatively simple question of what the causes of writing blocks might be, and then we will try to help with your writing problems by considering the more difficult question of how such blocks might be removed and the flow of writing initiated or maintained.
Writing blocks may be put into two categories, procedural or psychological, depending on whether we cannot decide what to write next in the term paper or research paper we cannot bring ourselves to write anything next. There is a third general reason why writing might become difficult at times, and that might be called physical. Academic paper writing requires far more physical effort than reading than talking or listening.
It may occasionally be the case that we are too tired to write at all, but what is more likely is that fatigue is an additional but critical factor when we are experiencing writing difficulties with a psychological or procedural basis. We are too tired to solve our problems and need help to answer them, especially since overcoming writing blocks frequently requires effort and determination. To struggle for half an hour with a stiff sentence that is not exactly what we want to say, while we do not know exactly what we want to say, can demand the concentration and stamina of an athlete.
Quite literally, we can be in the position of not knowing what to write next. It need not mean that we have no idea why we are trying to write in the first place, nor that we are incapable of putting words together if we know what to say in this paper. The situation can perhaps best be expressed regarding levels of intention.
At a global level we know and can specify very well what we want to write about in the paper, and at a local level, we have no trouble putting one word after another – provided we can decide what we specifically want to say. But we are lost at an intermediate level and need help there–for example, in determining the exact direction in which we wish to a paragraph to go.
There are several possible reasons for vacillation related to an unwieldy ramification of alternatives in writing term papers or research papers. One reason is the packing of too much information into a sentence, into a paragraph even, leaving too many directions in which one might go and too many strands to be followed. There may be digressions into which our developing ideas have led us, and we become entangled in the undergrowth of our own proliferating intentions.
One related problem almost as disruptive as the inability to start writing is the inability to stop, even though the paper is taking us further and further from the path we intended to pursue. Writing difficulties are often not so much a matter of having nothing to say as the manipulation of dams and torrents, dams that must be carefully broached afterwords have built up behind them, and torrents that must be halted or channeled when the words burst through.
The most challenging moment is often the moment when the first words should come in the research paper or term paper. In this case, we are not talking about the occasions when you have nothing to say, even though it may often be the case that the brain requires more time to sort out some ideas. Nor we are talking of procedural problems when the writer cannot decide a direction to take. We are talking about the case when words should come and could come, but we refuse to allow them to confront us. We cannot bring ourselves to let words appear on paper and therefore we cannot even start term paper and complete it on time. In this case, most of us will need help. But at first, we should understand where this problem comes from.
There are probably two main reasons for this reluctance. The first is to do with the magnitude of the task. We may be committing ourselves to a considerable amount of effort, and even risk and the first few words we put on a page may set a course from which we feel there will be no turning back or yet opportunity for second thoughts. This degree of resistance to undertaking the enterprise will increase depending on the perceived magnitude, importance, and probability of succeeding in whatever our aims might be.
The second reason is complicated. It is the apprehension that the product of our labors will fail to measure up to some standard, which is often applied to any research paper or term paper that we ever handled to professors. And the reluctance is intensified because this standard cannot be precisely defined or be too high. The standard needs to be the approval of the reader to whom the text is addressed.
One other general psychological reason for writing blocks is simply expressed: habit. Just as we have our habitual and preferred writing materials, our favorite time of day and place for writing, so may we have our regular and preferred strategies for avoiding it.
Overcoming Writing Blocks
The “write at all costs, write anything, no matter how irrelevant” is most appropriate to the psychological aspects of writing-block problems, but not to the procedural elements. In the latter case, the problem is organizational and is best handled by capitalizing on the particular advantages of written language, its ability to overcome constraints of time and space. Instead of trying to puzzle over and remember alternative constructions in the head, we should put them on paper, where not only can they be inspected but also moved around to be evaluated in different order and different contexts.
The difficulty of finding a beginning may be resolved by writing various alternatives, even the most mundane. You may find yourself writing something that takes off for you with a fluency you did not suspect. If you cannot think of anything else to write in the term paper, write a summary statement of what in general you want to write about. These possibilities also apply to blocks that occur at other places in the text – in the middle or at the end.
Hope we provided you with sufficient paper writing help and especially in starting it. Use these recommendations and practice your writing skills to achieve mastery in writing term papers.