Great Tutorials for Students:
How to Become a Good Essay Writer
If I want an A on an essay, students, any essay, I give myself one thing that guarantees me I can “make it sing.” That one thing, my dears, is time. See, everyone has those days that the words simply will not come or those days when you’ve psyched yourself out, thinking very negative things that simply lock writers up. Or days when you are simply lazy or unfocused. Factor those days into a week—how many days do you have left when you can really focus?—that’s how much time you need to leave yourself to complete a writing project—any writing project.
All Great Crafts Are Slow
I’m a slow crafter of good, quality writing. I like to take my time with it and the one thing I know really makes my papers good is I give myself plenty of time for the creation phase, the really writing hard phase, and, most of all – the let it simmer by itself for awhile and come back to it with fresh, rested eyes phase. All of these phases are crucial and you need to allow several days for all of these phases, nevertheless the revision phase—which I like to drag out over a long time until it looks like a beautiful surface upon the page and reads like a dream—one of those papers the teacher simply sits back and says, WOW.
The only really WOW, guaranteed A+ papers I have handed in that the teacher simply could not give me any grade but an A are those where I spent a lot of time on them. I have never believed that a great paper can be written overnight. Even if I worked every hour of the night before, that one night does not give me all the days I need when it is really working to make that paper stellar. See, the night before is NOT GUARANTEED to be a good writing day. You cannot predict these. Sleeping and eating right does not make these days happen, they simply come. That is part of the reason why all writers call the writing process a kind of magic. They too know that those days when it really happens they are not doing anything different than they did all the nights before. Sometimes, you sit down, relax into it, and it simply comes.
You need enough days when it simply won’t come factored into your writing equation.
For a five page essay, I would allow myself a week or a week and a half to guarantee myself an A+ research paper, because research papers need a special kind of craftsmanship. You have to locate great quotes. You have to work those quotes in gracefully, with graceful introductory phrases to introduce them. You have to put in all your citations and allow time to locate the publication and documentation information in case you forgot to write that down or in case you lose that sheet with all of that information printed on there. /p>
And you have to allow time for good writing too.
I used to think it was a good idea to drink a lot of caffeine before I sat down to wrote. Now I know that if you are a beginning writer, getting jazzed on too much caffeine can actually work against you—because it will increase that writer’s anxiety and that little voice on your shoulder telling you to quit, take a break, or give up. Now I believe relaxed is best for writing. Bring out the big caffeine guns for the revision stage.