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Keeping up the momentum

Do you experience a loss of momentum in the middle of drafting an essay? It’s common to make a promising start and then begin to flag. Here are some ways you might reinvigorate the drafting process and move forward.

1 Take stock

Stop writing and check your main argument. On a blank page, summarise what you want to say in two or three sentences, as if you were explaining it to a fellow student or a friend. It will remind you of what you’re trying to achieve.

2 Progress your essay in other ways

Taking a break from drafting doesn’t mean you’ve stopped working. Try editing what you’ve written already: make your sentences smooth and concise; check the linking between them; cut excess words. Reading over your polished paragraphs afterwards can really boost your confidence.

Alternatively, you could work on your citing and referencing — tidying the layout of your quotes and compiling your reference list. These kinds of tasks can give your creative mind a breather, but you’re still moving the work closer to completion.

checklist

3 Make lists

What work still needs to be done? Break down the job into a numbered list of tasks. If there’s a risk you’ll feel overwhelmed, prioritise three things. When you’ve done them, list the next three, and so on. Crossing off the items can give you a feeling of achievement as you move closer to the goal of completing your essay.

Cherise Saywell
11 February 2021

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