We have all done it, starting with a blank page of paper knowing we have X amount of time to write an essay or report of a significant length and getting started is the hardest point. This is very true for this blog post.
Therefore I asked around the office when starting an important essay or report how do you go about it.
The feedback we received back was in no particular order:
Break down everything
An essay structure is very basic – Introduction, Body and Conclusion. But this can be broken down further – every single point to be in a bulleted list and then content is created around each bullet point so everything is broken down and then easier to format when it comes to putting the essay together.
Separate sections separate pages
The most daunting prospect of writing a 10,000 word report is actually writing 10,000 words. The psychological effect of this can be daunting and adding on unnecessary pressure. One way around this is to break everything up into separate sections so each section is a much simpler 1-3,000 word sections which are a lot easier to manage. When it comes to formatting you can add in all the sections in the right order and like magic you 10,000 report has been written in smaller sections.
A not very common writing technique is free writing. Instead of breaking things down and having sections, free writing is just starting with a blank page and throwing every idea on the page at once. Once your mind is spent on creating loads of ideas you will have created the body of your essay and the more time intensive part on editing, refining and layout begins but the majority of content is created and it is easier to add additional content once you have the body of text added.
Last minute cramming
An old favourite but not best practice is cramming everything at the last minute. Some people thrive on pressure and think if you have the deadline the next morning you will panic but fly through all the content you need to create a perfect essay. Again this is not the best practice because although you may enjoy not having to study at the last minute the pressure and stress to get the work done within an ever decreasing timeline might not produce the best work.
Those are just 4 techniques that we in the Stonebridge Office use to approach essay and report writing, what methods do you use?