4 Steps to Get Back to Academic Writing After a Break

EssayJack

Jan 12, 2021 5:20:51 AM

Getting back into the habit of writing or picking up that thesis after the holidays is always a challenge. It's hard to to not get overwhelmed by the work ahead, the work not yet done, or the work that needs to be resumed.

Here are our four tips to get you back into the flow of writing, whether its a 1000-word essay or a 100,000-word graduate-level thesis, it's about getting focused and getting back into the groove. 

 

Step 1: Get organised and start with small tasks

Our CEO Dr. Lindy, who has spent most of her life being either a student or an educator understands what it's like trying to get back into academic writing after the holidays. Heck, she has revisions for a peer-reviewed article that she's been working on after the holidays...so she practices what she preaches, so to speak.

 

She suggests that educators or graduates students start by clearing out the email inbox! It might seem unrelated to getting back into writing, but by responding to and clearing out your inbox, you're actually doing two things. The first is clearing out some mental space, especially if your emails contain things that need to get done and deadlines. You can organise yourself and schedule tasks that need to be completed. The second is well, you start to write, it's a small start but gets you warmed up.

 

For high school or university students, we'd also recommend going through your syllabi for the semester and organising and scheduling into your calendar readings and essay assignment due dates! Of course, how you organise and how much reading and writing you decide to give yourself daily or weekly if up to you. You know yourself, but getting organised is a good place to start getting your groove back!

 

Dr. Rueban, our-cofounder and professor has put together some how-to videos on research, reading, note-taking, and drafting thesis statements. They might help you think through how to organise yourself when it comes to writing essays this semester. Check it out:

 

 

Step 2: Journaling and Freewriting 

This is the next step to easing back into full-on academic writing. As the saying goes, writing begets writing i.e. there's no other way around it; you just have to start writing. But getting to the end result, which in your case is most likely academic writing, may start off with some less structured writing to get your thoughts flowing to shake of the deep-freeze state that the holiday period might have cast on your brain. 

 

Freewriting just means that you write without any structure (so don't use EssayJack for this part!); the only thing you want to achieve here is to let your thoughts on a topic just flow. So this could be for a random topic you pick, or just writing out thoughts about the current paper you need to resume work on. 

 

And, well, journaling about anything that is bothering you or the stress these crazy and unprecedented times may be having on you will undoubtedly do you some good too. 

 

 

Blog 1 2021 Getting Back into Writing Flow

 

 

Step 3: Reading

Yup, this one is simple. Read. Whether it's a book that inspires or motivates you or a journal article for your research. Just read. It'll help quiet and focus your mind. 

 

For academic writing, we find the more we read academic articles, the more we're inclined to mimic the language when writing. This can be helpful, especially if you're more inclined to more informal writing as we all are these days with the prevalence of social media. Sustained reading leads to sustained thought, which yields productive ideas for writing projects. It may feel passive, but the rewards of reading on your writing habits are countless.

 

Person reading

 

 

Step 4: Get rid of any distractions and find a quiet place

Yes, easier said than done in the current work from home situations many of us find ourselves in. But it's really a key component to get start writing, especially academic writing, and be productive about it. No phones, no family, no Zoom calls. Whether this means early mornings or later at night - whatever works best for you. A distraction free quiet place or time will allow you to get more done in a shorter span of time than with distraction-filled hours of work. And if quiet isn't your thing, then a little bit of white noise or music can have the same effect as providing you with a distraction-free place to begin your writing regimen.

 

While in these strange times, technology has been our great connector, it can also be a culprit in distracting us from focusing on what needs to get done. Studies suggest that current technologies incentivise short bursts of attention and rewire our brains to make sustained attention on any one thing harder and harder to achieve. So it's good practice to unplug for a moment or two and do a bit of a tech detox in order to get in the right frame of mind to sit and think deeply and write academically about subjects that matter.

 

Those are our four simple steps to get back into the flow of academic writing. Have you tried other things that have worked for you? Share with us on Twitter or Instagram. 

Subscribe for more today!

Get regular blog updates and offers from partners sent directly to your inbox.