The Psychology of Writing an Essay
December 2, 2011
Filed under Featured Blog
As high school students, we’ve all experienced writer’s block.
Many students hate writing essays and papers all together.
Part of the problem here may be the approach we have all become accustomed to taking when we are given a writing assignment.
Recently, in his American Literature Seminar, English teacher Dr. Charles Donelan had his students write a list of all of the things that they find difficult about writing an essay.
Immediately, nearly everyone in the room agreed on a first item for the list: starting the essay.
Popular followers were: coming up with a thesis, writing a conclusion, staying on task, and making your paper flow and work together as one piece of writing.
Everyone agreed on one other thing: the best part of writing a paper is finishing it.
Dr. Donelan went on to tell the class about a conversation he’d had with a professor while he was an undergraduate student.
His former professor explained that students must build a relationship with their essays.
In that relationship, there will be ups and downs, moments of extreme frustrations, but there can be some peaceful and happy moments as well.
Writing an introduction that lays out your main ideas and sets an overall tone for the paper can feel like a major victory, but many students get stuck after this point and then start to feel discouraged about the entire assignment.
It is important to remember that there is no rule that says that your paper must be written in any particular order.
Many students find that jumping around and writing about what comes to mind first can be the easiest way to avoid that dreaded writer’s block.
The truth is, essay assignments don’t have to be as terrible as students have come to see them.
Staying off of Facebook, taking occasional breaks, and writing in an order that works best for you will greatly improve your writing process and relationship with essays.