Research Writer Interview With Ivonne
Flowing Ideas In The Paper
How do you approach an academic writing assignment?
I like to break this process down into several steps, to keep a large assignment from appearing overly intimidating. I establish first what the purpose of the paper will be (to inform, to persuade, etc.) and then select or narrow down a topic if one is not provided. Next I research it thoroughly, so that I have a good grasp on the subject and know what information will be useful in my paper, and also what won't. Then, I draft a thesis and a detailed outline based on the findings of my research. And it's all downhill from there! I flesh out the paper and then let it sit for a while before I come back to reread it with a fresh eye and make any necessary revisions.
What is the most challenging part of writing an academic paper for you?
It all hinges on when you first read the assignment and understand what needs to be done in order to make it the greatest possible response to the prompt. When you see the best way that that paper could possibly turn out, then the challenge comes in the form of crafting the kind of essay that fulfills and even surpasses what you envisioned. But, really, that's the fun of it. Creating something that will respond appropriately to the prompt, and serve as the quintessential embodiment of a paper's potential.
What is the most exciting part of writing an academic paper?
I think the best part of paper writing is when you hit a zone where all of the ideas are flowing, and you can feel how good it is-when you know that every word and every concept on the page are working together to create something new and creative and unique. That's the best feeling, when you realize that you're saying something that has never been said before in quite the same way.
How do you approach the creative writing process?
With creative writing, I like to come to the page as a blank slate, in a way. I like to be able to sit down and put aside any concerns or worries about everyday life and just dedicate myself to my writing, to what will come of this moment, here and now. I think it's important to do this so that you can get to the heart of what really matters. It's hard to identify the things that leave you breathless or make your blood burn when you're wondering if you shut the garage door or turned off the coffee pot. It's one of those things that demand every ounce of energy and every creative fiber of your being to be done right.
How do you deal with writer's block?
Firstly, by staying calm. Writer's block is inevitable. Jane Austen, Earnest Hemingway, James Joyce-they all felt blocked or uninspired at one point, and it's no different for any other writer. Whether it's a creative or academic piece, the way I deal with it is the same. Take a few deep breaths, get up to stretch, relax, and then face the page. If you really can't think of anything at all to say, then just take it a sentence at a time. Describe the look on someone's face or identify the theme of the novel or establish the setting. And then build on that, and keep doing so until you find yourself in a rhythm. You can always go back and edit out what doesn't work later. For now, the task at hand is to put the best words on the page that you can, and know that they will only get better as you revise and rewrite.
Random writer: /writer-kent