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Julia Serra

Junior

Advice for writers 
Don’t psych yourself out. I’ve talked to so many people who are convinced that they’re doomed to be bad writers. Like anything else, good writing takes work, but it’s definitely not an unobtainable skill. Have confidence in your abilities and seek help if you feel like you’re stuck. If you go into every paper thinking that it will turn out poorly, it probably will. Instead, approach each paper as an opportunity to improve your writing skills.

How do you get started on a writing assignment?
This might seem counter-intuitive, but a little bit of controlled messiness always jump starts my creativity. I like to take an unlined piece of paper and a black pen and jot down any and all ideas I might have. If I have a thesis, I’ll put that at the top of the page. I include main points and possible topic sentences, research or other useful pieces of evidence, or anything else that seems important to my essay. If my mess of ideas starts to get overwhelming I’ll take out a clean sheet of paper and organize what I’ve come up with so far. Eventually, I’ll work my brainstorming into a polished outline with a thesis statement and topic sentences.

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