Imagine this: it’s the end of the school year, it’s Christmas time, and before you get off, you’d need to write several papers. You’ve done a great job on a majority of it, but there’s this paper that you’ve been struggling with. So you stop writing it to tend to the remaining ones. But when you do go back, you’re still drawing a blank.
It’s the typical scenario for most students nowadays, even writers in the industry. Selective writing is the phenomenon where someone doesn’t have a problem in writing for topics they usually are connected to, or have interest in, but will struggle, to the point of completely being unsuccessful at a certain subject.
It happens to the best of us, so surely it will happen to all of us. When you find yourself in this situation, there are several things you can do to alleviate the phenomena. And you’re in the right article to enlighten you on the best course of action. We’ve collated secret writing tips to let you take that dreadful slump into one of your best papers yet:
Read on the topic. Even if it bores the life out of you.
Reading is fundamental. Reading on the topic for your paper is not only beneficial in having the foundational knowledge about the subject, but it’ll also create a sort-of authoritative take in your writing. When you know about something, and has read all that you can about it, you become an expert in your own right.
But the problem lies in getting the motivation to read about something uninteresting to you. Pro tip: ditch the dissections, dissertations, and formal papers. Read news about the topic instead. Look for human interest stories that involve the subject at hand. There is power in humanizing something difficult to process, and your brain will certainly thank you for it.
Reading on the topic goes beyond getting the surface information. Knowing, digesting, and comprehending something is a many-faceted process. That’s why you need to divide the research into bite-size servings. This is one of the best short story writing tips, as well. If you’re stuck on something, read all about it first.
Develop your angle.
Developing your angle means to identify your take on the matter. An effective paper always has something to say, even if it’s polarizing, divisive, or controversial. Your take on the matter matters. So after reading about your topic at hand, let’s say, for example, racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, decide on what your stance is afterward.
Are you pro or against the question? Do you subscribe to the idea of what you’ve been given? Develop your stance from there. Research relevant articles which have the same viewpoints as yours, and be inspired by it. Don’t hesitate to emulate some opinions, but don’t be a carbon copy. Express your take, and stand by it.
Dissect what you’re saying in your paper.
When you’ve written quite a bit about the topic and your opinion of it, and find yourself stuck and doesn’t know what to do next, here’s the next best option: Contradict yourself. Present opposite ideas, and explain how they are as valid as the one you’re advocating for. There’s always a dissent to any view, so take the time to read why people came up with a different viewpoint from yours.
Dissecting your paper doesn’t necessarily mean you’re putting your paper down. Instead, you’re presenting another valid opinion, which you can shut down or make the argument why you end up believing what you believe. A complete paper acknowledges other stances, and you’re doing your paper a disservice if you don’t present an opposing view.
Writing a paper is one of the most brain-draining activities. Especially for students. But finishing one is a testament of learning something, which means you enrich yourself in the process. If you’re stuck, take a break, come back and write with a vengeance.