Friday, November 11, 2022 Writing Center tips for finals
If you have a lot of writing projects to do at the end of the semester, you're not alone. Staff at the Writing Center know that high-stakes writing assignments like essays, reports, or research papers can be stressful to work on. With that in mind, they've offered the following tips for students who are starting to work on final projects.
Start now: While it may be tempting to think that you can write a major essay all in one go, this approach can lead to high levels of stress. Pulling an all-nighter might seem efficient, but this is unlikely to result in your best work, and you are also denying yourself sleep just when you need it most. You are more likely to produce writing you are proud of and to make it through the end of the semester in one piece if you get started on your final projects today.
Break it down: Starting today doesn’t mean getting it all done today. Writing is a process, not an event. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, break your assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. That might mean setting aside some time this week to brainstorm ideas and heading to the library for a little preliminary research. Next week, you might build an outline and evaluate whether you need to do more research before you start writing. If you aren’t sure how to get started with your research or if you are feeling stuck, you can schedule a free research session with a librarian. Plan to do multiple drafts before you turn in a final draft for a grade.
Find a reader: Having a second set of eyes on your work is a really valuable opportunity to see whether you are getting your message across. You might swap papers with a friend in your class; you might ask your professor or your TA to take a look at your work; or you can schedule an appointment to work with a writing consultant at the Writing Center. The Writing Center offers free, 40-minute appointments with expert readers and writers who can share their feedback with you either in person or online. Whether you need help brainstorming, organizing, revising or editing your writing, they can help.
Keep in mind that the Writing Center gets very busy at the end of the semester—schedule an appointment sooner rather than later to make sure you can find a time that works for you.