Tag Archives: outlining

Reading as Hunting: Chase, Don’t Search, for Prey!

Imagine two different scenarios: In the first, it’s a stormy afternoon and you decide to spend the day with a nonfiction book. You pick one up that looks appealing, curl up in one of the Olin armchairs, and begin reading, … Continue reading

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Journals: Practice Without Pressure

When you write a piece you intend to show other people–a paper for a class, or a story you want to publish, for example–you are subtly aware of the criticisms and judgments that your readers may have. This is not … Continue reading

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Developing Original Critique: A Plea for Gentle Persuasion

One of the most challenging aspects of the transition to college writing is the idea that we as writers must develop our own unique thesis that contrasts, expands upon, or complements the authors we read in class. How are we, … Continue reading

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Pre-Write Like a Pro

I recall a time when I couldn’t write a thesis statement if my life depended on it.  At the start of high school there wasn’t a paper assigned that I didn’t need an extension on — and it certainly wasn’t … Continue reading

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Too Long, Too Short, Just Right?: How to Fit your Whole Argument into Only Two Pages

With the end of the semester upon us, many of us are spending countless hours organizing information, developing arguments, and churning out page after page.  Getting to that, say, twentieth page is certainly demanding, but what about when we encounter … Continue reading

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How to Get Started When You Don’t Know What to Write

The hardest part of writing is getting started.  In fact, the blank computer screen might be one of the most intimidating things a college student has to face.  Here’s two ways that I begin academic assignments without ever becoming overwhelmed … Continue reading

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Writer’s Block: Drafting the Reader’s Digest Version of Your Paper

Ever have the problem where you know what you want to say in a paper but cannot seem to articulate your ideas intelligibly in writing? Here’s a quick tip that has always helped me out when I run into this … Continue reading

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