“A good start is half the battle.” -Plato
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” -Stephen King
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” -Walt Disney
Ok, ok- it’s easier said than done, but as the quotes above illustrate, getting started on something daunting is half the battle. We’ve all procrastinated when we have a written assignment due. Some people truly do work best under pressure, but this is how mistakes are made! Since a new semester is starting, we thought we’d share some motivational tips and tricks to help you avoid rushing while writing assignments this term.
There is no right or wrong way to start working on your essays. Whatever gets you motivated and into the groove is the right method for you! Some people prefer to handwrite notes and draw flowcharts, while others make headings on their word processor to organize their thoughts.
One method many people find helpful is starting with their introduction and conclusion to give themselves a framework and nail down their thesis statement. Remember- your thesis may change as you research and write your essay! That’s ok--just make sure you run by any changes with your TA or professor if they’ve asked to approve it in advance of your final essay.
One way to get started if you’re procrastinating is to create your title page! It sounds simple, but formatting a title page saves you precious time at the end of the assignment, and gives you a feeling of accomplishment that tends to motivate you to do a little bit more while you have your document open.
Even if you just start by jotting down some ideas and realize your original thoughts won’t work for the paper you’re writing, that's a start! You’ve eliminated some ideas and know that you need to think about it further.
It goes without saying, but thoroughly read the assignment guidelines and description before you start writing. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re on the right track and putting hours into an assignment, only to realize you misunderstood the instructions. Clarify things you don’t understand with the professor or T.A. themselves, rather than assuming you understand. No question is stupid- if you’re unclear about something, chances are others are too!
If you do find yourself in a bit of a time crunch before turning in your essay, be sure to check out our 24-hour proofreading and editing services! Sometimes you’ve looked at your own writing for so long, you become blind to errors that jump off the page to others (like us!). We can help you to strengthen and polish your writing before handing it in.
Leave any of your favourite methods to get started on essays in the comment section below.