10 Do’s and Don’ts to Solve Your Writing Problems

Do Don’t
1. Be conscious that the writing process consists of different phases: choosing and defining a topic, formulation of the hypothesis, planning, research, writing, rewriting, and finishing up. 1. Sit behind your desk and write without a good plan.
2. Defining your topic is essential: first choose your topic and refine your topic with a clear hypothesis. 2. Attempt to read and include everything. Do not try to research too many questions. This will often lead to writing which is too general and no focus.
3. Collect material about your topic that is relevant for answering the hypothesis and make sure you make clear notations. It will be easy to find and make references. 3. Copying everything without considering the relevance or make loose notes here and there which you will not be able to find later on in the writing process.
4. Write on a regular basis and make a real effort not to postpone the phases of the writing process. 4. Write during those moments when you are ‘in the mood’ or wait till the last moment.
5. Organize your material to form arguments. Explain your arguments in steps and demonstrate reasoning. 5. Do not accumulate facts without much binding.
6. Write first, correct later. 6. Right away wanting to write a perfect text: writing and correcting at the same time often leads to blockage.
7. Realize that writing is a learning process. 7.  Setting high aims and wanting it to be perfect right away.
8. A supervisor, peer or tutor can help you to detect weaknesses and correct weaknesses. 8.  Try to submit a paper without any mistakes. Criticism will be more difficult to accept.
9. Be problem solution oriented when you’re having problems writing; go back a phase in the writing process, discuss your problem with others, ask for advice, etc. 9. Keep pushing and trying to resolve the problems alone.
10. Build confidence as a writer by analyzing the things that go well. 10. Setting unrealistic goals, ignore progress and compliments and only focus on things that don’t work out.

If all fails and/or you are in need of more advice, you are more than welcome to drop by the  Centre of Academic Writing and Communication (AVOK) for help, suggestions, comments, feedback, encouragements, and a wealth of resources to get you through your writing problems. You can find us at the following address, Jakobi 2-131, or contact us by email: djuddah.leijen@ut.ee.

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