Time and Stress Management

When you receive the class syllabus

Go through the class syllabus. Think about what texts, themes, authors, etc. interest you most → make connections • Primary texts → read pen in hand, highlight/underline and take notes while reading → trace words, themes, minor characters, etc. that you find most significant → take diligent class notes → keep in mind historical context of the text and author biographies → CLOSE READING • Secondary texts → read pen in hand, highlight/underline and take notes while reading → pay attention to how the scholar analyzes the text → these secondary texts can provide a good model for your own writing

Once you receive a prompt

The day you receive the prompt → brainstorm → look through your text and class notes • Gather significant quotes • Type up/write down your thoughts → don’t worry about organizing these, just write down what you’re thinking • Make an outline → try your best to formulate a working thesis and argument → think about the best way to order and structure body paragraphs • Talk to your professor and/or to the Writing Center for more help

Once you’ve brainstormed and outlined

Start drafting your essay • Think about what strategy works best for you • Some people like writing the introduction first • Some like writing the body paragraphs first • Some may even like writing a conclusion first! • Talk to your professor and/or to the Writing Center for more help • I would not recommend writing the whole essay in one sitting → break it up and write it piece by piece instead (one paragraph at a time perhaps) → TAKE BREAKS (more on this later)

Once you’ve drafted your entire essay… •

Carefully revise it → I usually recommend printing your paper out and going through with a colored pen in hand • Make sure your thesis is clear, concise, and persuasive → your body paragraphs must be in a logical order, structured properly, and they must build upon and strengthen your argument • Your conclusion should not simply restate your thesis → your conclusion is the time for moving beyond your thesis → questions, speculation, etc. • YOUR IDEAS MUST BE CENTRAL TO YOUR PAPER → the ideas of other scholars must support your argument, but the argument is yours • Make sure you properly integrate, analyze, and cite primary and secondary sources • Chat with your professor and/or the Writing Center for more assistance

On the day your paper is due

… • I usually recommend that you do not hand in your paper too early, but do not obsess over it (24-48 hours before the due date is a good time window if you’d like to hand your paper in early) • Try to read through your essay one more time → keep an eye out for any lingering grammatical, citational, or formatting issues • Be confident! You’ve been working hard and doing your best! • Craft a respectful email to your professor and make sure to attach your paper before you send AND/OR Print out your paper and staple it together

Stress Management Throughout the writing process… • TAKE BREAKS • Do work for other classes • Read a favorite book • Listen to a podcast or to music • Watch a movie/tv • Whatever makes you feel comfortable and more relaxed! • Taking breaks is essential to best formulate ideas and to properly revise/draft your paper → resting your brain is significant! • Try not to work on your paper for more than one hour at a time (preferably around 30-45 minutes) • Try to schedule breaks that are at least 15 minutes long • Schedule your time and find out the length of writing and the length of the break time that work best for you

Throughout the writing process… •

Seek help • Your professor • Your peers (check with your professor) • The Writing Center • Family members • Someone to help you brainstorm • Someone to read through an outline/draft • Grammar Girl • Your grammar handbook (e.g., The Bedford Handbook, They Say/I Say, etc.) • Writing Center Blog and Resources (accessible on the Writing Center homepage) • ”Writing Resources” are located under “Academic Resources” on the left-hand side • Blog posts are located directly on the homepage (Scroll down to “Fordham Writing Center Writing Tips”)

Breakout Rooms and Discussion •

Now we will move into breakout rooms for 10 minutes • Let us know if you have any questions whatsoever about the three presentations! • What writing advice did you find most helpful and why? • What do you find most difficult about writing for college classes and why? • What ideas do you have about what the Writing Center could discuss in future workshops? • THANK YOU FOR LISTENING! I hope this advice helps you throughout the writing process and as you work on final papers for this semester.