When some students are asked to choose between a ten page research paper and a root canal, the latter choice seems like a better idea. I realize it is a bit unfair to compare an essay to dental work. Still, the fact remains that there are those of you who do not like to write. Actually, hatred is probably a better term here. Some students hate to write. Okay, so we will accept this as a given. Now, we need to find out why.
I’ve always been curious that, in the age of text messages, tweets, and Facebook updates, many students still want to argue that they hate to write. However, they spend the majority of their day doing just that. Granted, the writing is in short bursts and restricted to certain character lengths, but it is writing nonetheless. If this applies to you, it’s impossible to say that you hate writing. This is an unfair generalization of the term. I think what you mean to say is that you hate research writing. That’s better. Wait…no, it’s not.
In college, your instructors will always expect a certain level of academic quality in your writing. After all, you cannot take a college level writing class until you have demonstrated your ability to handle it. (If you aren’t there yet, please do not be discouraged. It’s always best to build on your skills first before trying them out.) While high school English courses assigned you one to two page book reports, college professors will ask you for anywhere from four to ten pages of in-depth, analytical work. Now, I understand that this doesn’t sound that appealing to many of you. But, rest assured that you can do it! If you possess confidence in your abilities, no matter their level, you can achieve anything.
So, my goal for this section is to teach you that writing (like so many other things) is a process. You should never expect it to be perfect the first time. There are always multiple issues that can be addressed and revised. That is, if you give yourself enough time to do so. In order to prepare for college level writing and have more confidence in your abilities, here are some suggestions:
To conclude, there are and will always continue to be students who do not like to write essays. I get it. However, I would argue that the reason they do not like them is due to poor time management skills and lack of a clear path. You now have both of these things. And, while I will never be able to make you like research writing, I can make it better for you. Now, do you still want that root canal?
Here are some great web resources that you can use to improve your writing and research skills. In addition to these links, you should always use your class textbooks, your instructor, and your campus writing center as needed.
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