How to Battle Writer’s Block
For online students, nothing can be more frustrating than writer’s block. You know that you want to write, and you know what you want to write about, but unfortunately you’re unable to make the words appear. We’ve all been there.
Throughout your educational journey at Ashford University, you’re going to have numerous opportunities to express your thoughts in essays, research papers, and online forums, and the majority of your academic success will depend on your writing ability.
This is why it’s important to have a plan of attack if you ever find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper or a computer screen. Here are some tips on how to overcome writer’s block once and for all.
Develop an Outline
Before you begin to write, it’s always a good idea to have an understanding of what you’re going to write about. A great way to do this is to develop an outline. Having an outline is like having a map that guides you through the entire writing process. As you’re moving along, the outline can provide the framework of what you’re writing about and help you organize your thoughts.
Get Rid of Distractions
This tip may be harder for some than others, but writing in a peaceful and calm environment will usually yield some great results. Whenever you know that you’ll be writing, try to write in a time and place where you can focus and concentrate. Maybe that’s after the kids go to bed or in a quiet room away from other people at a specific time. Either way, eliminating distractions is a surefire way to get the words flowing.
Give Yourself Time to Write
If you wait until the last minute to write an assignment, and writer’s block hits, then you could find yourself in a precarious situation. By giving yourself some extra time, you’re able to step back and take a minute to think about what you’re going to write. A well thought-out paper will typically lead to a less stressful writing process.
Use Your Resources
At Ashford University, there are various resources available to help overcome writer’s block.
“First, I recommend taking a look at our resources on our Writing Center website,” said Writing Consultant Claire Edwards “You’ll find things like our guide to essay structure and developing thesis statements.”
She added, “Understanding and thinking about structure and the elements of the assignment will provide you with specific questions to ask yourself as you develop your ideas. For example, knowing the structure of a thesis statement will help you understand that drafting a thesis is a process of answering three questions: What is my topic? What is my claim about that topic? And what are my main points about that topic?”
Learning the structural elements of an essay will help you to identify what other questions you’re seeking to answer, and it will give you a more specific task to focus on when you begin writing.
If you ever find yourself struggling to write, try putting these tips into action. With a little practice and preparation, you can overcome writer’s block and begin writing some great content.
Written by Ben Cummings, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bridgepoint Education