It’s official: the Writing Workshop has officially closed for the 2011-2012 year. We’ve had a spectacular time working with you this year and wish you all the best of luck for finals!
If you’ve still got writing to do, don’t fret: there are tons of things you can do to improve your written work even without the Workshop. A few suggestions:
- Aim to finish your paper well before it’s due. (Normally, we would suggest leaving a full 24 hours…but given that we’re already in the thick of finals, that might not be possible at this point.) How much time you spend editing is up to you, but it’s always a good rule of thumb to leave enough time to step away from your computer for a quick mental break before you go back to edit.
- Swap papers with a friend: you can read and edit theirs while they do the same for yours. Sometimes you really need another pair of eyes to catch mistakes or inconsistencies that you can’t see!
- If you can’t solicit any friends to help, consider asking your parents to glance over your work. There’s no shame in this!
- Before you hand in a paper, read through it at least once. (You’d be surprised how many people finish typing the last sentence and immediately hit “print”.) A suggestion: first, locate your thesis. Then, write it out on a sticky note and tack the note to your computer. As you read through each paragraph, keep glancing at your thesis to make sure that what you’ve written connects back to it clearly.
- Revisit the prompt. Read through it slowly and make sure you have responded to each component of it. You don’t want to do all this work only to get a poor grade because you only addressed four out of the five requirements.
- Don’t rely solely on spell check. Read through your papers at least once with a critical eye for the nitty-gritty (grammar, spelling, formatting, and citations).
- Sleep. No, seriously. You may feel like you don’t have time to do anything but write and drink coffee, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get some z’s in, too. Think about it this way: the more quality sleep you get, the better your writing will be and the less time you’ll have to spend correcting errors you made because you were too tired.
Good luck everybody! May the force be with you!