How do you write?

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Brawls
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How do you write?

Postby Brawls » Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:51 pm UTC

This is just a thought that came into my head while I was preparing to write an essay. How does each of you prepare and write an essay? Do you create a very structured essay with clearly connected topics which is specific and do you create guidelines to stay your course? Or do you brainstorm as you write and follow it along to see what happens and write abstractly?

I'm sure everyone here uses different methods for different types of essays, but which is the most commonly used method for you? What do you believe are it's benefits and it's flaws?

I often use the latter method. I just write down what I feel and what comes into my head. I try to keep it clear, understandable, and concise but usually I end up just going along with what I'm thinking at that moment.

In my opinion, it's harder to write a research paper with this method and I get annoyed by the fact that it takes so long to cite things and to create a bibliography. Maybe that's because the writing formats are very new to me, but I like to spend more time writing about the topic then citing and recording every little thing.

At the same time critical reading and writing essays I'm very comfortable with and usually get ideas on what to write with ease.
"A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; in his two-fold security."

daydalus
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Re: How do you write?

Postby daydalus » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:19 pm UTC

I find that if I surround myself with the research long enough I can write the essay straight through and it will turn out the best. However, if I only have partial knowledge I usually have to brainstorm for a while, construcing a thesis rather then having it come out organically. The latter papers usually aren't as good.

IMO a great essay is more about logical flow of valid points then a structured info dump.

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Ari
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Re: How do you write?

Postby Ari » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:21 pm UTC

Usually I write want I want to say, then look for data to back it up, then add or delete parts as I either find things I can justify that are interesting to say, or can't find ways to justify things that I found interesting to say in my initial draft.
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Keroppi
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Re: How do you write?

Postby Keroppi » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:55 pm UTC

It really depends on the type of essay; but I usually make some rough outlines, and I used to use a recorder, so that I could speak my sentences out loud and see if they made sense.

Mostly, though, I start writing it the night before or hours before the class.

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tiny
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Re: How do you write?

Postby tiny » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:08 pm UTC

How long do your essays have to be?
During the basic study period it's usually 10 - 12 pages over here, during advanced study period it's 15 - 20 pages (12pt, double line spacing).

I write like this:
1. Find out how to connect the text/theory/concept I have to start with to something I already know (I'm a lazy bastard), or identify the aspect of it that I'm most interested in, so I can elaborate that.
2. Tell my mom (a Dr.phil.) about it and ask her what she thinks about it.
3. Find out how to structurize the content while searching for literature.
4. Change the structure numerous times while sighting the literature.
5. Start reading and taking notes.
6. Change the structure again.
7. Start writing.
8. Change structure again.
9. Finish writing.
10. Let my mom read it.
11. Fix a bit here and there.
12. Hand it in.
13. Bite my nails for the 3 to 5 months the prof needs to read and grade it.
"I write what I see, the endless procession to the guillotine." ~ de Sade


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