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Unblocking Writerís Block
Home Reference & Education Writing & Speaking
By: Patrick Alexander Email Article
Word Count: 681 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


When starting to write a research paper, do you ever feel intimidated by the blank page? Unsure of what to write, sometimes those first few words are like pulling teeth, right?

If youíre on a deadline, it can become super stressful! It happens to all of us at some point, yet knowing that youíre in good company is hardly a consolation prize as the deadline looms closer.

Writerís block is unwelcome and frustrating. Sometimes it feels like you have to wait for the block to clear itself, almost like hunkering down while a storm passes overhead. But you donít have time to wait: you need to produce brilliance and you need to produce it now!

There are a few tested tricks that you can use the get the ideas flowing and dislodge that writerís block from your brain.
You may think that you need to have all of the clever answers before you get started in your writing. Letís flip that thinking on its head! Maybe what you really need is one smart question.

Like Jeopardy! gameshow host Alex Trebek can attest, sometimes you can bank on the right question!
Embrace the Question
Here are two suggested questions that you can use to stir up your thinking in new ways

1. What is my final sentence?
Good writing builds up to a climax and leaves the reader with a resounding take-home message. What is the take-home message that you want your paper to deliver? Start there and work backwards.

This strategy changes your focus entirely. Instead of where you want to start, itís all about where your reader will end. Put yourself in the readerís shoes and begin writing in an entirely new direction.

If you want to end with a certain final statement, then what do you have to say within that final paragraph to lead up to it? Piece by piece, continue to work backwards. What would the topic sentence of the next-to-last paragraph be? Then the topic sentence of the one before it, and so on? Keep asking yourself, "How do I get there?" Now that you have a map to follow, you may not feel so lost.

2. How do my ideas fit in a funnel?
If you are a visual learner, it may be helpful to create a visual analogy for what you are building with your writing. Maybe thinking in shapes will give your visual brain a whole new perspective on the writing assignment.
If you are a visual learner, it may be helpful to create a visual analogy for what you are building with your writing. Maybe thinking in shapes will give your visual brain a whole new perspective on the writing assignment.

Most college papers take on the shape of a funnel, broad at the top and getting more narrow as you go along. Research manuscripts, theses, and dissertations take on a double-funnel shape: a rightside-up funnel through reporting the results of your data analysis, then an inverted one through your conclusions as you take your specific data and then connect your results to the big picture.

When you keep the funnel shape in mind, you know where to be general and where to get specific, which may help you in feeling anchored instead of writing aimlessly. The broadest part of the funnel is where you present the big picture. From there, you get progressively more narrow. The most narrow part is the one sentence that is your key point. Funnel your brilliance into this one key take-home point.

We hope this short article has given you some ideas on how to Q&A your way out of writerís block. After your writing is done, College Paper Review is always available to support you with editing and proofreading your paper Ė and thereís no question about that!

CollegePaperReview was created to provide Professionals and Students (High School & University) with the assistance required to produce papers of an exceptional quality

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