This article by guest author Phoebe Prinz ’24 won a Spring 2021 First Year Writing Award in the blog post category.
Timed writing can certainly be nerve wracking. With the strategies in this post, you can confidently prepare for any timed writes you may face during midterms season and beyond.
As we grow as writers, our writing process changes, too. After transitioning to college and navigating the constraints of COVID-19, you may find that your tried-and-true strategies no longer work as well as they used to—and that is okay!
Looking back on what life was like a year ago—I believe I recall seven (7) people sitting on one (1) couch at my house—I remember what it felt like to pump out papers before the pandemic.
When I first started college, I referred to myself as a “professional procrastinator,” especially when it came to writing. Instead of starting an assignment, I’d put my creativity to use by finding all the things I could do instead and coming up with good reasons to do them. I’d call my mom because she missed me. I’d hang out with friends, investing in intentional community. I’d go to bed early in the name of self-care.
It’s been a month since you were assigned that term paper, and if we’re being honest with each other, you haven’t given it a moment’s thought since you stuck the assignment guidelines sheet in the back of a notebook and promptly forgot about it. The paper is due next week, and you still have no idea where to begin.
The beginning of the academic year is always busy. Although most students don’t have major assignments due yet, settling into a new routine takes time.
This early in the semester, we usually don’t have enough information to start working on midterm and final papers. But it’s a good idea to begin thinking about how to approach upcoming writing assignments. Here are some simple strategies for the start of the semester to help you manage your workload later on.