1. Think Realistically and Break down the Assignment
Some writing assignments may seem overwhelming, so as a writer, you should aim to finish what you can under a reasonable amount of time. Breaking down the tasks into manageable chunks will make it easier for you to get started.
2. Make a Schedule/To Do list
Setting certain small deadlines for yourself will allow you to allocate a certain amount of time for each writing step. In general, writing is a process, so it would only make sense to have a certain amount of time allocated to each step; for example, leaving some time for editing and revision may be beneficial. Also, if you need to do some research, or cite sources in a correct formatting style, you should plan to leave some time for that as well.
3. Find practical writing strategies that will work for you.
Think about what is most difficult for you as a writer. Identify the individual causes and combat them systematically. Find some ways to improve on where, when, what you tend to get stuck on or dislike the most. Maybe even find some incentives to trick yourself into keep writing.
- Don’t obsess over one thing. If you get stuck on an idea or a paragraph, move onto the next one or something else and come back to it later.
- Change the ways you express your ideas. Some people like typing up their ideas, others like handwriting it. Some people jump straight to writing sentences, while some people like to brainstorm and make bullet notes or outlines.
4. Know your topic, genre and readers.
It is definitely easier to write about a subject that interests you or that you know a lot about, rather than one you don’t. So if you are assigned to a topic where you have no background knowledge, I would suggest getting a head start on researching the topic, so that you have enough time to build up your own opinion and ideas, regarding this topic.
Knowing your genre is also very helpful because it allows to to know the generic conventions of the paper. Knowing your audience may also help with what you want to express because it lets you know how to word your thoughts. This will improve and ease your writing style and increase your confidence.
5. Find a good working place.
You might like to work at a really quiet place like the library or in a loud public place like a local coffee shop. Find a place that will minimize the distractions for you. Unfortunately, distractions has never been as omnipresent as it is now. Turn off your cell phone, close your Facebook and Youtube and any other social media platform that you use a lot. This will help maintain your concentration and your productivity level.
6. Commit to your plan.
It is important to stick with your plan, because then you won't fall behind and procrastinate. The college system moves fast, quarter or semester; you are most likely taking multiple other classes as well and this means that your assignments for each class will overlap and build up. Thus it is important to plan out the deadlines and keep up with your workload, so that you won't end up stressing yourself out.
7. Remember to take breaks!
Go hang out with friends, exercise, or get a snack! It is better for writers to leave what they are working on and come back later to it, rather than waste time pondering over how to fix it. Writers who come back with a fresh mind usually are able to get their ideas flowing much faster.