- Write shitty first drafts, then write a second draft, and a third draft, and so on. Eventually you will have written something that is not too embarrassing to share.
- Use the resources available to you. Almost all universities have writing centers and your tuition dollars are paying for the center - USE IT.
- Try reverse outlining. If you aren't sure that your paper is fully coherent or that it flows logically, making a reverse outline can help you clarify your main arguments and check for the logical flow of your paper.
- Read your work out loud. It feels really weird to do this, but it is an excellent way to look for grammatical errors and the flow of your writing. If what you wrote feels stilted and awkward to read out loud, it will feel the same for others to read.
- Use a checklist before you submit anything. This will help you catch last minute errors, ensure your citations are there, and verify that you met all the assignment criteria.
Getting started on writing an essay for class, or anything else for that matter, can be incredibly challenging. Having the confidence to share your writing or knowing that it is ready to submit is even harder. Below are just a few resources that can make the process just a little less intimidating.
The first week of classes is coming up. Are you ready? Have you thought about your academic and personal goals? There are a few concrete steps you can take to have a really successful first week back on campus.
So that's it - a few quick and easy ways to get yourself ready for the semester. Is there anything I've forgotten? What are the ways you get ready for the semester?
Clare Brock is a professor of American Politics and Public Policy at TWU. She works primarily in the areas of food policy, lobbying, and money in politics.