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Writing the Essay Draft

You’ve probably written dozens of essays over the course of your educational career. That being said, you’re also apt to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. After all, you’ve worked with yourself long enough to know how you write an essay. You already know what methods work for you and what methods fail miserably.


So, we’re going to spend this section talking about several popular strengths and weaknesses that students show and/or exercise when writing their school essays. Hopefully you can pick up on a few of your own weaknesses and turn them into positive strengths.

Survival guide


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"Essay Survival Guide"

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Let’s start with our strengths 

1. Talking to yourself while you write.

You might sound silly, and you probably shouldn’t try this in a library. You’ll get some weird looks. But, when you have to write long chunks of text, it usually helps to be able to share your ideas with an empty room. Every once in a while, go back through the section you’ve written and read it out loud. You’ll be shocked at the results. Your sentence structure will be stronger. Your grammar and spelling will be better than usual. And your writing will feel natural – almost like you’re talking to a friend. That’s not always the goal of an essay, but you can also pretend that you’re speaking to your boss. Or, of course, you can pretend that you’re speaking to your professor. Whatever works for you.

2. Feeling comfortable with your surroundings.

That means throw on a t-shirt and sweatpants, turn off the television, and sit in a comfy chair. The better you feel, the easier this process is going to be. When you feel awkward or you’re in a not-so-satisfying position, it’s nearly impossible to full your sole focus on your writing. This is how you get in the “zone”. Try working on your bed instead of at your desk. As long as you manage to stay awake, you might find that your writing is becoming less stiff.

3. Drinking lots of liquids.

Staying hydrated can help you stay focused and ready for action. The hardest part of writing an essay is getting started. Once you hit that halfway point, it gets easier. Achieve that halfway mark sooner by lightly snacking and drinking water (you can also drink tea, milk, coffee, or juice). Juice, in particular, is an extremely useful snack for a restless mind. It focuses your attention and makes the words come more easily.

Those are just a few habits that can lend to your strengths while writing a paper.

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We’re also going to touch on a few weaknesses

1. Editing as you go.

There’s a difference between going over a section of your paper after half an hour of writing a paragraph and rereading every single one when you finish writing it. On one hand, you’re being proactive. On the other hand, you’re wasting precious time and you’re dragging out the process. The longer you put off writing, the harder the writing is going to get. It’s better to get in the “zone” and stay in the “zone” – leave the majority of the editing for later. It’ll be worth it; mostly because you won’t already be sick of what you’ve written.

2. Stressing yourself out.

Yes, you might have procrastinated. Maybe the paper is due tomorrow. Maybe your mind is wandering and you just can’t make it slow down. Maybe everything is coming down on you, and focusing is the last thing on your mind. Maybe this whole process feels pointless. These are your ways of convincing yourself to procrastinate even further. Don’t make this mistake. Ignore the incoming thoughts, make everything else go away, and just write. It’ll be one more thing to scratch off your planner at the end of the day.

3. Pausing for too long.

The writing process requires complete and total focus. While it’s okay to take a break every forty-five minutes or so (in fact, we recommend it), it isn’t okay to pause every fifteen minutes and check social media. It’s so easy to get lost behind a computer screen – and then your work becomes seemingly impossible to finish. If you completely focused on your essay for forty-five minutes, your rough draft would be mostly finished. You could come back, polish it up, and call it a day. It’s when you hop on Facebook every five minutes, carry on conversations via text message, and close your eyes for a spell that you begin to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

And that is the majority of the information that you’ll need to create an amazing rough draft. 

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