The clock keeps ticking tirelessly, you’re staring at a blank Word document, and the deadline for your assignment is getting nearer by the minute. If this scenario sounds familiar, you are only one of the many students who find written assignments exceptionally challenging.
Although these tasks often give students headaches, starting to write your assignment doesn’t necessarily have to be a living nightmare. If you can structure your assignments, why couldn’t you do the same with the writing process itself? It’s time to dive in.
Create an assignment outline
Most students believe that people who can write do just that: Sit down, look at the headline, think for a minute, and start typing right away. This approach might work for some novelists, but when it comes to essay writing, it’s borderline impossible.
Every good essay requires thorough preparation, and creating a functional outline of your thesis is a crucial step in the process. What’s this assignment about? Why is this topic (potentially) important? Is it straightforward, or are there several angles from which you can assess it? What is your personal opinion on the matter? What do you expect to learn when the assignment is done?
Conduct thorough research on the subject
Once you’ve successfully outlined what it is that you need to do, it’s time to conduct research. Apart from writing itself, this part is usually what kills the motivation of most students: Not many people like to spend time reading about things that are not their primary interests.
The trick is to find a way to actually get yourself interested in the topic. Although it might sound impossible to you before you’ve done any work, as you progress and learn more about the matter, you may find yourself wondering what comes next.
Use this phase cleverly and try to enjoy it. After all, you still don’t have to write anything final: As you conduct research, just write down the important points, reminders, and the sources you got them from.
Structure your written assignment
Once you’ve collected enough information, it’s time to make the last preparatory phase: Structuring your assignment. Every essay must consist of an introduction, which gives the readers an idea of what you’re going to write about in the most important part of your essay, the body, before you conclude with your findings in a separate section. The body itself should be structured in subheadings and paragraphs, slowly unraveling the topic by explaining all its important elements.
Only when the phases of outlining, researching, and structuring your essay are done, you should actually proceed with writing. By the time you’ve reached this point, you will have a whole lot more than a blank Word document staring back at you. You’ll have a ton of new information, a lot of useful references, and a solid idea about what you need to write.
Don’t worry if your first sentences look clumsy and unsophisticated. The first ones always do. As you write on, go back from time to time and polish them until they’re just right.
Every time you begin anything from scratch, it’s going to feel like a difficult task. It’s no different with writing, especially if you don’t consider yourself a talented essayist in the first place. However, with a little practice, written assignments will soon begin to look a lot less terrifying.
Analytical approach to all your tasks, especially writing, can help you control any process and always stay one step ahead. When you know what you need to do next at all times, no assignment will ever be able to bring you down again.