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Writing Strategies and Grammar

Writer's Block

Getting stuck on a sentence or paragraph is a natural part of the writing process. If you’re having trouble writing your ideas, consider these strategies:







Write Your Thoughts: It’s as easy as that. Don’t stare at the screen and focus on how stuck you are. Instead, write what’s on your mind, even if that means "word vomiting" through a paragraph. You can’t revise your ideas if you don’t get them on the paper first.

Interrogate Your Sentences: Sentences either add, compare, or contrast information; expand ideas already stated; or transition to a new idea. If you can’t decide what sentence to write next, refer back to the previous one and determine the best next step.

Change Your Mindset: An essay is just a scholarly conversation between you and your professor, so if you can carry a conversation, you can write an essay. To think about writing more as a conversation, read your essay and outline aloud.

Refer to Prewriting: Read over your outline again to remind yourself of your claim and how your body paragraphs relate to it. This can spark new ideas or refine the weaker ones. Feel free to edit your outline as you see fit as well.

Skip Around: If you’re struggling with a paragraph and don’t see a way through it, skip it for now. Write another section that you’re more excited about and have more ideas for. Writing ahead might help you develop your ideas for the problem paragraph.

Take Breaks: You won’t do yourself any favors if you force yourself to write. Sometimes you need to walk away from an essay, if even for just 30 minutes. However, try to resolve the issue before calling it quits for the day. It’s much harder to go back and work on an essay that left off in a challenging spot.