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Get started with your essay

1 Begin

Many perfectionists get stuck in the research stages and leave their writing until it’s almost too late. Procrastinators – all of us who keep putting off work – struggle to get started. If you’re one of these kinds of people, make a start – any start – but begin early. And write actual sentences on the page as soon as you can, either longhand or on your laptop. Whatever happens, don’t leave your writing until the day before the assignment is due.

2 Try different writing techniques

Pomodoro timer
Image credit: foto.wuestenigel.com

Previously overwhelmed writers often thrive by using the Pomodoro Technique®. It’s very simple: set a timer for 25 minutes; write. Take a 5-minute break. Set the timer and go again. The idea is to complete short, focused blocks of writing that add up. Vary the amount of time, depending on what works best for you. The important thing is to get into the flow of writing. This technique is great for beginning that tricky first draft — and particularly useful for procrastinators.

3 Write your introduction and conclusion

Strangely, this seems to work for a lot of people. Rather than getting bogged down trying to write the introduction, start with the main body of your essay or report. By the time you have written the main part, you will be clear what the assignment is all about. The introduction and conclusion should pretty much write themselves.

Geoff Barker
11 March 2021

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