EXAMPLE: Do you take your time and usually turn in a polished final product or do you wait until the last minute to start writing and then run out of time?
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Usually the best and most effective way to write is to build up enough schema and momentum to produce a clean, well-edited, final copy that is ready for publication. I usually try to think on a beginning, middle, and end before I begin writing. When I can pinpoint the overall "shape" of my essay, I proceed to write as the ideas come and often they tend to come in order.
Technology has made it very simple for us to not have to always check on spelling mistakes but the more you write, the less prone you are to make a big mistake in grammar or spelling.
Hence, I would just say "write and keep writing" as this is the only way to "get it right".
I tend to write better under time pressure, not that I have many deadlines to meet any more. I also tend to write more effectively at night, when there are fewer noises and distractions.
As for drafting, I tend to write entire drafts without editing at all, and only then do I go back through what I have written and reorganize and change portions. I don't let accidental typos or grammar interfere with the writing before I have completed a thought or section, as I believe getting it on paper (or on screen) in its purest form is the first priority, and in this way I do not lose my train of thought while I pause to fix commas.
I also tend to write during the time I read a book or article - that is, I read others' work, then pause when something strikes me and write it down before I forget. My novels and non-fiction books are littered in the margins with comments and reactions. The writing itself, the completed thought in written form, is always my first priority.
I find that writing continuously for a lengthy period of time is beneficial, and then I often revisit and revise. A fresh mind and a mental breather seems to reinvigorate the creative spirit, and I often find plenty of opportunities for development.
I've played the wait-until-the-last-minute technique all too often, and it usually results in dire consequences; hence, the one B+ grade in a master's class while the rest are A's!
It may sound strange on the surface, but I have a tendency to do both. That clicking clock on the wall is sometimes a great motivator and forces me to create "something" within a certain deadline. But I find that with the additional reflection that time allows my work becomes better, stronger, and more personally satisfying as I make changes.
One of the methods that I use is to create an "artificial" deadline for a first draft--something that forces me to have ideas on paper long before I have reach the real deadline. This then allows me additional time to reflect upon my work and seek input and response from others on how to improve it.
I am very much like copelmat in #5. I find that actually, even though I start the writing process probably last minute, what I do is I think through it very carefully in my head (whether I am aware of it or not) and so when I come to actually sit down and write the thing I am much more organised than I think. It works for me, though I do occasionally get rather stressed about it!
I would by no means recommend my way of writing, but I always write my papers at the last minute. However, I only write in this way because this method happens to suit my writing thought process as well as my sleeping patterns. I have never liked writing multiple drafts over a long period of time before submitting that last paper. When I write something, I sit and write until I have made it exactly how I want it to be, so extra drafts serve only to waste my time and force me to intentionally leave things out or unedited so that I will have something to change on my next draft.
While I might wait until the night before to begin a paper, I have never turned in shoddy work because I will still take as much time as I need to properly format, research, and self-edit everything. I am also a night owl who does not need much sleep, and as a result I feel my most motivated and creative in the evening and have the capacity to trade sleep for writing and thinking time. I am aware this is basically the method professors always tell you not to adopt, and I absolutely agree if the student is a person who cannot handle the pressure of a " night before" situation, is not willing or able to put in the time to create a strong and well-written paper despite the time restraints, or needs those outlines and extra drafts in order to work out all the kinks in the writing. In short, if people work in such a way that their process would be disrupted by procrastinating, they should not procrastinate, but a person who procrastinates will not- contrary to popular opinion- automatically set a person up for failure. I rarely get lower than an A and have never received lower than a B on any of my papers.
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