Writing the assignment answer you want to

I’m back on the marked assign­ments again — I’m around a week ahead of sched­ule, which is good. Like the last one, this one too is one of tight word–counts: 800 for each of two ques­tions.

I have writ­ten 932 words for one of the ques­tions, and I am around 250 from fin­ish­ing. I’m also find­ing it the eas­i­est ques­tion I’ve attempt­ed in ages.

Nor­mal­ly, when answer­ing assign­ment ques­tions, I spend more time wor­ry­ing about the struc­ture and the edit­ing than get­ting the con­tent down on paper. Work­ing out what I need to say from what I want to say is a process that can dri­ve me into paral­y­sis. This time, I’m just not car­ing. Sep­a­rat­ing the writ­ing phase and the edit­ing phase turns out to allow me to write the answer I want to, then edit it into the answer that’s actu­al­ly need­ed for sub­mis­sion to my tutor.

This isn’t a tech­nique that will nec­es­sar­i­ly work well in exam con­di­tions, how­ev­er the tech­nique of writ­ing an answer plan first is sim­i­lar, if in reverse. But I am going to con­tin­ue to use it for the rest of my assign­ments, to see if it is a method to get around the paral­y­sis I often feel when writ­ing — what my friend Simon Pride described as my “inner cen­sor”. I hope it does.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *