That is to say, how to get through the writing process without ending up like a nervous wreck. So these tips won’t be about how to write a decent essay (like, read widely around the subject or make a draft) but how to avoid making your life more difficult than it already is whilst writing your essay.
- Save your essay files!
It speaks for itself. It is very, VERY distressing when your computer dies in the middle of the writing process and you have to start doing it all over again. Not fun.
- … and by doing so, name each of the files of your essay versions clearly!
When I start to write an essay, I tend to open several Word documents and write each section/paragraph into a different one. After I’m done with those, I just open yet another document and copy the already finished sections there so that I have the whole text in one piece. However, it can get confusing in the meantime to follow which one is which one. That is because -and I’m sure I’m not the only one- I usually name my files like ‘new.doc’, ‘newfinal.doc’, ‘absolutefinal.doc’ or ‘finalestforreal.doc’. Therefore to see clearly through the mess of your incomplete and sketchy essay versions, perhaps let’s stick to naming the files with numbers or something similarly straightforward.
- If you can’t write, then don’t.
Obviously, I don’t mean like “don’t write the essay at all.” What I mean is that there might be periods when you are sitting in front of your laptop and even though you understand the topic, you have a draft and you have your sources, but still, somehow you just don’t have the patience or inspiration to proceed with the writing. When it happened to me earlier, I always forced myself to write anyway, but I only ended up writing about a hundred words, then deleting them, then writing another hundred words and deleting them again. It’s frustrating, really. So if it’s not working right then and there, it’s okay. Just go away from it a bit, do something else and when you feel more motivated and less impatient, go back and try again. That’s what I aim to do with my current essays, too.
- … but if you do, then keep doing it and leave the typo-check to the end!
I hate typos, so after writing a few sentences, I immediately stop to check them over and over again which puts me off my stroke. After that, I usually struggle to pick up the thread of the flow of my writing. So if you actually feel like you have an inspiration and you can write fluently, then don’t interrupt it with reading back to search for missed commas all the time. You will have to do the proof reading at the end anyway, so until then just concentrate on the content rather than the spelling errors!
What have I left out? Let me know!