May, 1999: Final Exam
My Processes of Writing
Due to the fact that every individual has their own personalities and style, the way we go about writing is extremely different. I, for one, donít have a formal method. I let my mind go to a place where it can wander off. I try to relate what I am writing about to something I have experienced or have knowledge about. I often have trouble ignoring the outside distractions and, therefore, get sidetracked. I try to go to a comfortable place where I can relax while I am writing. That somewhere is usually my home or a quiet park.
When I begin the process of writing I donít jot things down or create an outline. I begin with freeing my mind to all of my options. I then sit down, most often at a computer, and let my fingers type what is going through my mind. Often I have to go get a soda to sip on to help me relax. I think about the past essays or papers I have written and try to think of how I went about completing it. I sit in front of the computer for hours at a time trying to gather my thoughts. When these certain ideas cross my mind I immediately type them. I often ask my mother or sister for ideas. They can be very helpful sometimes. Other times they say off-the-wall things that throw me off.
When I am writing a paper, I almost always sit at the computer. I enjoy the luxury of not having to scribble or erase mistakes. The fact that I can see what I write on a screen rather than a piece of paper is an advantage as well. I am more comfortable at a computer because I am not hunched over a table or desk, which kills my back and neck. I think it is very convenient to have what you need just a button away. I have found that it is less frustrating to type an essay rather than writing it down on paper. The computer also has many tools that can be useful when writing. If I want to move an entire sentence to a completely different paragraph, I can copy and paste it, and the job is done.
When I have completed my paper and am relieved of the nightmare, I take the time to look over it myself. I immediately run the spell check to find my spelling errors. I always ask a friend or even several family members to read my final draft. They can often see errors that I cannot. I also enjoy getting feedback from them. I like to hear them tell me if something does not sound right. Their opinions mean a lot to me and I enjoy listening to what they have to say.
Once I have found all of the errors and made the changes I feel are necessary, I begin to work on my references and title page, if required. I have found that the references are more complicated than the paper itself. There are many different ways to cite the items used in a paper, depending on what type of reference is used. I find that part of the process to be most frustrating. When I am finally done with the paper and it is all ready, I prepare it for presentation. I usually place it in a plastic folder and take a deep breath. Finally I am done. Although, at this time I am extremely tired, I take one more look at what I have done. I look over the paper and make sure it is correct. Then I place the completed paper somewhere safe until the time comes to give it away. At last I can celebrate the completion of another paper and start worrying about the next one to come.
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