Now, as a college English professor, I know more about how people succeed: they form good habits. During the semester, I take students to computer labs and let them write for one hour. Most days I witness the shift from distraction to concentration as joy captures their minds. “Okay, now count your words,” I say. “That’s your day’s work.” I praise specific accomplishments—the ones in which they invested many hours or risked public exposure. “Well done,” I told the junior surprised by winning the local library’s fiction contest. “Your hard work paid off.”
I am only at Tip #2 and can already feel my “inner writer” coming back to life. I’ve been torturing myself for so long — many new ideas and perspectives to share and nothing but dread at the thought of the actual writing. I was always such a “good student”, and by the time I finished grad school I no longer enjoyed either reading or writing. Pretty sad statement, even sadder that the ill effects have lasted three decades.
The only writing advice I’ve read so far basically boils down to: it’s work, you just have to do it, set aside a specific time and force yourself…. all about as appealing as my mother’s shoe leather lamb chops. I can’t thank you enough for your approach. I think it’s going to work for me, and just know I am immensely grateful beyond what words can express. Yes!
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.