29 July 2011

Writer’s Block: High School and College Assignments

Writer’s Block and the Pressure of an Assignment
One of the hardest writer’s blocks to overcome is one that develops under pressure. A writing assignment from a high school teacher or a college professor can definitely become an issue when writer’s block becomes involved.

Writer’s Block for Non-Writers
For someone born to write, a writing assignment might be a pleasure. These individuals sit down, pound out the words and only have the burden of editing left to worry about. For others, it is usually not so simple. The technical aspects of writing can get in the way. The desire to write may also be missing. The difficulty of the subject matter of the writing piece may also be involved. With all of these factors combined, student writer’s block can often follow.

Tackling the Subject Is the First Cure to Writer’s Block
Before you can write about a subject, you must understand it. Unless it is an English or journalism class, the entire purpose of the assignment is to prove you understand the subject matter. Writing about a subject cannot be done from a stance of ignorance. The writing assignment forces the student to find out enough to be able to repeat it back for the teacher. A student trying to avoid studying is not going to do well with the writing assignment. Teachers know this, which is why they create writing assignments. To get the writing assignment done, the student needs to roll up his or her sleeves and learn. This may be frustrating to some, but really, that is what school is all about. A student should study as though the future depends on it, because it does.

Handling the Technical Aspects of Writing to Overcome Writer’s Block
Not knowing how to write well can undermine the willingness to write. For high school students the task is a bit easier. School at this level should be designed to teach writing skills. Do not pass up the opportunity to learn while at the high school level, especially if no plans for college exist. Being able to express oneself clearly goes a long, long way in the real world. If the skill is not there, write anyway. Good teachers will help students to improve writing skills.

For college students, the task of becoming a good writer is hopefully based on a good education in high school. If not, do not shy away from extra study to find out how it is done. With the Internet available, it is quite easy to find a site that describes how an essay is written, how a term paper is written and so on. Students should use these resources and model their work after them. This is a learning exercise in itself. Making good use of such resources early on in college enables students to write without them in the following college years.

Coming Up with Content to Overcome Writer’s Block
Coming up with enough to say can be a problem even with an assignment as short as one page. In college, a much longer piece may be expected. For one to five pages of content, start by writing a paragraph about the basic ideas that need to be covered. Then, take each sentence and change it into a title for a new paragraph. Some shifting of words might be necessary to make titles, but that’s not the point. The point is to lay the subject matter out. For a longer writing assignment covering many pages, write out a one page essay covering the entire subject. Pull this one-page essay apart to find all the different subjects touched upon and use them to write paragraphs or even entire pages of material.

Basics of Overcoming Student Writer’s Block
These are basic strategies to overcome student writer’s block. More reasons may exist for having trouble writing and other solutions may need to be applied to those. Hopefully, the above points cover what a student needs to get back to writing so that the assignment can be completed.

No comments:

Post a Comment