May, 1999: Final Exam
How to Avoid a Real Stomach Problem
When I think about writing, I have this great feeling of dread come over me like a bad case of indigestion that will not go away. In most cases it starts with the decision on what to write. I have to make sure that I know something about the subject, or else it is like a meal full of green pepper and garlic; it kills my stomach and my nerves are shot.
Writing the main context of the paper is the easiest part; the words flow on to the paper like sweet cream and strawberries. It sounds really good until I go back and do the editing and corrections to make the paper sound as sweet as the strawberries taste. The first thing I always forget is the title, and it is always a struggle to find the right words to fit the paper. After I take care of cleaning up from the preparation, then comes checking the paper to be sure it is written in the right tense. Nobody wants to flip back and forth from good cream to using expired cream that is out dated in the past tense; it makes the paper flow better when it is able to be read in one time frame. You do not want to mix the two: it is not very healthy, not to mention it does not make much sense.
The next thing that gives me trouble is choosing the right places to put commas and semi-colons. It is like choosing between chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles for the top of the strawberries and sweet cream. It is a personal flavor thing for my desserts. Where do you use the right topping? Or do you just leave it blank and start a completely new thought? One thing I always need to remember is to put commas in the right places, such as after and before unneeded words and phrases. It would not make much sense to put the rainbow sprinkles in every crevice of the strawberries. This is where the indigestion comes in; I want the paper to be an A paper, but I seem to go crazy and use too many combinations of commas and semi-colons. The paper is so full of the extra garnish that all of the commas and semi-colons make an unsightly mess that makes me sick. If I could break the mental block and let the rules for the proper garnish fall into place in my writing, it would make the whole mess of indigestion go away and not be such a problem.
Little things make the paper sound like a good dessert should taste; leave out any words or spices that would spoil the taste and sound of perfection. Always stand back and make sure your work is going to be seen by others the way you want it to be, by making the right corrections to make it perfect to the sight and taste of the audience. Indigestion does not have to be a problem if you take the necessary steps to prepare the piece the right way.
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