Advice for Academic Writing

Don’t wait to long to choose a topic. In a speech class I took my first semester in college one time I didn’t have a topic the day of a speech.  I ended up not doing a speech that day and got an F. Now years later, I realize that was 1. No way to write a speech and 2. An example of me underestimating how long it took to write, do research for, and practice a speech. If you can’t choose a topic, just choose something you know so much about you can talk about for five minutes (this aplies to writing assignments or speeches).

Here are some tips for pre-writing. Write a letter about your topic to someone you feel comfortable talking with. Don’t send it; the purpose of writing the letter was just to get your thoughts down. Have a discussion with someone about your topic. Afterwards write what you talked about. If they let you record the discussion on your smartphone or other recording device. I’ve heard it’s o.k. to procrastinate a little bit because thinking about what you’re going to write is part of the writing process. I can see how that can work. Maybe the paper was assigned this morning, you spent the afternoon working on other assignments in the tutorial center, but on the long bus ride home you think about what you’re going to write instead of talking with your friends.

This tip is for the writing process. When your mind is racing because you have so much you want to say, write down in a separate sheet of paper a quick outline. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just write down the points you want to make in the order you want to make them.

Lastly, be careful with those file names.

Your name narrative essay D1.docx

For draft 1 (the D1 is for Draft 1)

And then when you’re ready to write draft 2, open up draft 1, don’t change anything but “Save As” with this file name:

Your name narrative essay D2.docx

Then start editing this document as your second draft.

You can get fancy and add the date in eight digit/Year-Month-Day format to file name. Like this:

YYYY-MM-DD Your Name essay D1.docx

Where the YYYY is the year, the MM is the month with any leading zeroes (like 02 for February), and the DD is the day with any leading zeroes (like 01 for the first of the month). So a essay draft written by me today would be named:

2017-09-04 Debrezion Berhe Gebre essay D1.docx

Bye for now.

Published by Mr. Debrezion Berhe Gebre

I write so my words and story can last longer than me. My name is Debrezion; I’m also known as Derezion, Dee or Azen. I always know where I am by what people call me. I enjoy church, using computers, and of course writing. I’ve been to Ethiopia twice. I was reared in California, USA but my parents are from Ethiopia. I’m lucky to be alive and I should thank God for that.

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