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20 tips for overcoming writers block

  • Write quickly (freewriting).
  • Don't edit (i.e. don't correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure etc.) as you write.
  • Write without referring to your research notes (you can plug this info in later).
  • Don't worry about words; go for ideas.
  • If you can't think of the right word, leave a blank or put in a general word ("thing"), or put the word in your first language if other than English.
  • Capture good ideas that come as you write without worrying about sequence; write them in the margin of your paper or put them in brackets on the computer.
  • Follow your plan but do not feel stuck to it!
  • Write the easiest part first.
  • Write your introductory paragraph last along with the conclusion.
  • If writing on paper, leave plenty of space to add and change.
  • Imagine that you are writing for a friendly reader (NOT the teacher!) who needs to know what you know about your topic.
  • Write as you talk with everyday words and short sentences (you can make changes later).
  • Rehearse what you will write by talking about your ideas before you start.
  • Stop writing in the middle of a sentence before taking a break to make it easier to get started again.
  • Write whole sections of your paper at a time so that ideas flow.
  • Just relax! Drafts do not count!
  • Brainstorm ideas that you could write about next.
  • Make a web or cluster of possible ideas.
  • Generate some questions that a reader might have at this point in your paper and then write to answer them.
  • Talk about your ideas with someone: tell them about your topic and why it’s interesting and important; then ask them what they would want to know next

Remember: first WRITE, and then make it RIGHT!

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