Tag Archives: Writing

A Brief Guide to Help Finish Your Paper

Imagine, if you will, you have a paper due tomorrow. The paper will not only decide whether you pass the class; the class is contingent upon your graduation. To make matters worse, despite your desperate situation, the paper’s subject only encourages you to procrastinate, and you have convinced yourself that the increasing pressure to finish will help you focus in the two hours before the paper needs to be submitted. Maybe your situation is not this dire, but it may feel that way. Here are some tips to make starting or finishing a little less panic inducing.

  1. As long as it is within the boundaries of your assignment, write the paper that would capture your attention. Keep it academic, but take liberties; tell a story with your thesis; get creative. Think about why you are not connecting to the subject and use your perspective as a way to critically analyze the topic.
  2. Collect your sources ahead of time. Even if you have yet to write anything else, add all the references you intend to include in your paper. Think about how each reference supports your thesis and organize them accordingly throughout what will be your introduction, body, and conclusion. All you would need to do is then combine and support each with your own ideas.
  3. Remember how relieved you were when you last finished a paper? The final product might have even impressed you. It was not a fluke. The same prospects apply this time. Don’t let pressure cloud your impression. You wrote that paper, and you will do it again.

If preparation is less of a problem for you, but you would like to improve your writing, the following titles might interest you. Thanks to the library’s collection of eBooks, you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home to benefit from our selection.

10 Steps to Successful Business Writing, 2nd Edition
The Student Guide to Writing
Seven Steps to Confident Writing
Writing Fantastic Fiction

Find those and other books on any academic subject you need through Ivy Tech Library’s catalog database, IvyCat!

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH, Part 2

Whether or not you have committed to the herculean task of scribing 1,667 words daily for a month, you have surely shared the existential dread that comes with an incomplete paper or essay staring back at you.

During NaNoWriMo‘s campaign, accomplished authors are invited to contribute insights or pep talks for fellow writers. The following are some tips that most resonated with me. If you are stuck or could just use a break, these reflections might be helpful to you too.

Jason Reynolds
When you make it to the 3/4 mark of your novel, if you are anything like me, you’re saying one of two things to yourself:

1. I’ve come far enough… to stop. I mean, seriously, I basically wrote a whole novel. I could at least tell people I wrote a whole novel. It’d be a lie. But I wouldn’t feel bad about it. At least not too bad. Because it’s basically whole.

Or 2. I can see the end. I can actually see it. So now I’m going to teleport there. . . .

Anyway, the point is you are ready and willing to cram the next five chapters into the next five sentences.

Don’t do either of these things.

Marie Lu
Just Keep Going.

Write an entire monologue with your main character if you have to. Spend a chapter just exploring the life story of an antagonist. Write a scene with nothing but dialogue between your hero and your villain. Write a steamy love scene between your favorite couple. They don’t have to be scenes in chronological order. They don’t even have to end up in your book. But they will help you to keep going.

Andy Weir
Sometimes, when you’re writing, things come together easily and you can crank out 2,000 words in an afternoon. But other times, it’s torture just to crap out 300 words. In those rough patches, here’s something to keep yourself going: When you read the pages later, you won’t be able to tell which ones you wrote with good flow and which ones were hard. You’re creating the same quality of work in both cases. You might not believe me, but the next time it happens to you, check the results later. You’ll see for yourself. So when you’re having a rough patch, it helps to remember that you’re making progress toward a goal. The words you’re putting down aren’t wasted. They’re just as good as the rest.

National Novel Writing Month

Remember all those moments in which an idea brightened your mood and refreshed your outlook? Did you ever wonder where those ideas go after you let them go?

Nowhere! They have all been waiting in the back of your head, neglected but banded together in solidarity as your most loyal supporters. Well, it is that time of year again, time to rally them together to produce your masterpiece!

This year, join writers of all varieties in sharing your story of ideas during National Novel Writing Month! The goal is the same every year: 50,000 words in 30 days. Start at the harrowing finale; explore a thesis; develop compelling characters; or just practice your prose!

Even if you have not committed to all 50,000 words, it could not be a better time to join the community: https://www.nanowrimo.org/. Expect reminders, writing prompts, tips, and encouragement right here on Ivy Tech Library’s blog throughout the remainder of the month!