University Writing Center Blog

Posted on December 14th, 2020 by University Writing Center

I’m sure we’re all sick of hearing this year described as an “unprecedented time,” but that’s precisely what it is. As students, we can find it especially tough to stay on track with our writing assignments and stay sane at the same time. Consultants here at the UWC have compiled some general writing tips that are hopefully useful, The most important thing, though, is to be kind to yourself. We all experience guilt and shame when we don’t meet our own expectations, but just the fact that we are all trying the best we can right now is already a great achievement!

Take your time but don’t waste your time—

Don’t wait until the last-minute to complete a writing assignment, but allow yourself enough time so that you can take breaks when you need to. Create enough time for yourself to go through the writing process that benefits you the most! — Chloe C.

Set reasonable goals—

Know where you are in the writing process and set reasonable goals for yourself based on that knowledge. Don’t be upset at your first draft for not being polished, and don’t worry about sentence-level issues until you have a solid thesis and organization. — Nathan M.

No first draft is perfect—

Remind yourself that no first draft is perfect and amazing the first time. Sometimes, getting the fingers typing and the words flowing without expectation is the best way to combat writer’s block or conquer essay anxiety. — Lauren W.

Don’t compare your progress to others’—

Know yourself and think about how you have written in the past, and use that as a baseline to compare your current progress, not somebody else’s wild expectation based on their own experiences. They’re not you and they don’t have your writing process. — Cory P.

Make citations as you go—

Writing is already stress-inducing, especially during times like these, so it’s important to make things as easier on future-You as possible. One thing I do is make a separate document where I copy in my sources with any quotes or references I’m making, along with the formatted citation for that source. This makes it easier to copy and paste what I need into my finished draft, instead of having to go back and hunt for my citations. — Rachel C.

If you need a second opinion or extra writing help, the UWC will be open until this Wednesday, December 16th, and will reopen in January for the Spring Semester.