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Writing Tip of the Week:
Conquering the Blank Page
When you sit down to write an essay, don’t let arrangement slow you down. It is a waste of time to try and write an introduction for a paper that hasn’t even been written yet. Instead, start at any point in between the intro and conclusion. Start wherever inspiration strikes. Your brain is going to jump around during the writing process, so rather than stifle it, run with it. Disjointed, disorganized writing is better than spending hours refining paragraph 1 or staring at a blank page.
An essay will naturally change as you write it, so the intro and thesis should be flexible and incomplete. In drafting, you might change your mind about certain claims, decide that something should be left out entirely, or you might discover new directions to take your paper. It might help to write each paragraph in a separate Word document, or to write on notecards that can be shuffled around. Don’t get bogged down by making everything fit perfectly and chronologically; that comes later. Before you know it, you will have more than enough material to work with.