Why You Have Such a Hard Time Writing Essays
If you analyze the academic problems students most often discuss and complain about, you will most likely find out that difficulties with essay writing are pretty close to the top of the list. There is nothing particularly surprising about it – paper writing is difficult in and of itself, and not all people have a natural aptitude for this kind of work. However, it would be wrong to put all the blame on one’s natural inclinations and propensities. What we can and cannot do primarily depends on our own behavior. This means that, if you constantly say something like, “Why is essay writing so hard for me? Why are my essays always so bad?”, then it is most likely your own fault, and it is within your power to change the situation.
So, what are you doing wrong? Let us take a closer look.
1. You Do not Focus on Your Task
Granted, it is not necessarily your own problem but rather a problem caused by the entirety of our today’s hyperconnected lifestyle. While in the past it was possible, with a little effort, to isolate yourself from most distractions by sitting down to write and asking those near you not to disturb you, today we are bombarded by distractions every minute of our lives, all the time, whether we are alone or not. When we write, we usually do it using a PC or laptop with an Internet connection, which means all the social media, your favorite websites and millions of cat videos are always just a few clicks away. Even if we write by hand, our smartphones are always nearby, offering the same distractions and more. Every few minutes we receive emails, text messages, and status updates vying for our attention. Anybody can call us at any minute, and we feel obliged to answer. Actually, it is pretty amazing that we manage to focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes at a time!
So what you can do about it? While you cannot change the entire world, you can change your immediate environment and your own behavior. Turn off your smartphone when you perform work that requires focus. Use tools like Freedom or RescueTime to prevent yourself from visiting distracting sites and using distracting apps when you work.
2. You Are in a Hurry to Finish
You just want to be done with it as quickly as possible. Of course, in practice, it means that you are constantly on the lookout for shortcuts and ways to conserve time and effort. For example, you may forgo writing an outline or call it a day immediately after writing the last word of the essay, without proofreading it. While it may seem that these practices save you a little bit of time, they are counter-productive in the long run. For example, not writing an outline means that you are likely to forget to mention things you wanted to include in your essay or repeat what you already said. Your essay will be chaotic and disjointed, meaning that you will spend extra time bringing it all together. Not proofreading your essay is likely to lead to lower grades, which will make you feel demotivated, which in turn will make you even less eager to write your essays in the future.
3. You Try to Make It Perfect the First Time Around
At a glance, it may seem that using a computer to type your essay is incredibly convenient and time-saving. After all, you do not have to write several drafts of the paper, and if you want to correct or introduce new information, you can simply put it wherever you like, without having to start over.
In practice, it probably prolongs the writing process more than it shortens it, especially if you have perfectionistic tendencies. When you write by hand, you are forced to start with a rough draft, then make corrections and adjustments to it and rewrite it as a final draft. When you type on a computer screen, it is too easy to start editing what you already wrote before you finish writing. If you constantly go back to correct previous paragraphs or change something in them, you fragment your attention and prolong writing more than necessary.
Force yourself to separate writing and editing. Write the entire essay first, then go back and edit it.
4. You Expect It to Be Easy
Perhaps you saw other students who claim that writing comes easily to them. Perhaps some of them are even being truthful (or think they are). In reality, you should realize one thing: writing is difficult and will always be. No people find it easy all the time. No magical tricks can make it easy. It is all practice and hard work, and you want to get better at it, it is practice and hard work that will help you achieve your goal.
5. You Try to Do Everything by Yourself
If you really struggle with your essay writing, it may be a sign that you take too much weight onto your shoulders. Maybe you need some help? This assistance may range from asking your friend to discuss the topic of your essay with you and suggest what you can do better about it, hiring somebody to edit and proofread your paper for you, or going to an online writing service and saying, “Please do my essay cheap”. These days, you can easily find plenty of writing agencies online, and their assistance often comes rather cheap, which means that it won’t ruin your budget. It may not be the first variant to try when you run into trouble with your writing, but it would be wrong to dismiss it right away.
As you can see, you can almost always do something when you find it difficult to write your essays. It is up to you whether you give up and say that it is impossible to rectify the situation, or struggle on and look for ways to make things better.