Writing: how to get started?

 

That’s it, the time has come… You start writing! A mountain stands before you: a few hundred pages to write, during which you will have to weave your argument in a clear and documented way. It’s a little scary, you have to admit! And this fear can waste a lot of your time. Here is a small anthology of practical and methodological advice to get started for good and with less apprehension and Buy Thesis Online.

Cut out the task

We do not climb a mountain in a day but by planning stages. This is extremely banal advice, but I will start by mentioning it all the same because it is essential. A good division of the task should protect you against the feeling of being engulfed by the magnitude of the work. There are several levelsof division, moreover: first of all, the overall division of the thesis (or dissertation) into parts and chapters. Having a thesis plan is essential to start writing; making a plan is simply putting your thoughts in order. Some of you will need to ease your uncertainty by making a really detailed plan that will let you know where you are going. Others will need a greater margin of freedom in the drafting: wanting to fix too many details would restrict them and block them. A rather general plan, not very detailed, will then suffice for them. But whether it’s in detail or not, you still need to have an idea of ​​what you’re going to cover and in what order. If you want to learn more about the thesis plan, consider reading this article.

It is also on a daily basis that you must divide your work: give yourself short-term objectives. Sociologist Howard Becker says that during his thesis he always wrote two pages a day, without exception. It was his daily task. If he had finished his two pages at 9 o’clock in the morning, he allowed himself the rest of the day. But writing the two pages could also take him until the evening. This “secret” allowed him to finish writing without unnecessary suffering. If such a formula does not suit you, then invent one to your liking, but the main thing is to stick to a discipline that suits you.

Free yourself from blockages

There are several possible causes of blockages and slowdowns in the writing of your thesis. Procrastination and scattering can cause you to lose weeks of work; they find their origin in a bad organization, and sometimes also in fear: fear of making mistakes, fear of showing one’s ideas in broad daylight.

Perfectionism can also play tricks on you. You are sitting in front of your computer, calm, you are motivated to write but… you are completely blocked. It seems to you that what you write is useless, or badly said, always incomplete. What to start with ? How to manage to say everything, to be convincing? How not to be mistaken? If you are subject to this kind of anxieties, the most likely is that you always try to say everything well, you believe that writing is a one-time operation, or almost. However, writing is a multi-step process . In the (rare) laboratories where we train in the practice of writing documents, we teach the three phases of writing (you can consult on this subject the detailed article by Maël Goarzin). This method allows you to get out of blockages .

 

The first phase should allow you to free yourself from the perfectionist pressure that obsesses you. It consists of writing simply to get ideas out. No matter the mess, the approximations, the sloppy style… you write freely what goes through your head, in connection with the theme you want to deal with today, but without censorship. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake at this point. This exercise will produce a confusing text, probably badly written… with a few rough-hewn but undoubtedly interesting ideas (since conceived in complete freedom!).

When you’re done, move on to the second phase  : it’s about getting to the point of clarifying the argument. You must now imagine that a reader will read you and understand you. This imaginary reader should not be your director, but rather a friend, and not necessarily well versed in your discipline. How to write so that he understands? Identify ideas in the text. Do they have connections between them? Do they derive from each other? Now restructure the text, taking care to expose these ideas, work on the transitions between paragraphs, the logical connections.

It is only during the third phase that you will take care of revising the style: eliminate the passive turns of phrase (this will force you to clarify what you are saying by always indicating who the subject of the action is); remove jargon if a simple word will do the trick; remove all unnecessary words (usually very many); shorten the sentences.

For example, don’t say: ”  The question of the flexibility of small informal economic units, supposed to guarantee their greater competitiveness, is also undermined by several factors: xxx ” (this poorly worded sentence came from an article I wrote a few years ago!); but rather: “  Small informal enterprises, which are more flexible, are not necessarily more competitive. Indeed, xxx ”.

Get to the heart of the matter

I want to warn you here against a very common pitfall, of which the doctoral student is rarely aware at the start of writing. We all dread starting to really make OUR argument, because that’s where we can start to make mistakes. We often prefer to beat around the bush, to put it this way, by evoking at length the scientific context of our subject, the origin of the concepts that we plan to use, the bibliographic inventory, the history of the question… It is difficult to resist this temptation. However, we must force ourselves to get to the heart of our subject or risk wasting a lot of time; a thesis is the presentation of an original and personal argument. So don’t wait 200 pages before talking about your vision of things and how you got your results. You will write the introduction after having finished writing the body of the text; so when you start writing, you can already begin by exposing and testing your first hypotheses and unfolding your argument. It is during your argument that you will summon the authors and concepts necessary for the analysis.

In short, do not hide behind theoretical digressions or lengthy introductions!

Concentrate!

I imagine you have experienced this situation: sitting in front of your computer, you cannot prevent your mind from wandering. You go for a little tour on Facebook, a little tour on Youtube… you end up being won over by a diffuse feeling of guilt and helplessness. How hard it is to concentrate! You must act against the dispersion. First, agree to work in ”  disconnected  ” places of the internet. If you go to the library, don’t turn wifi on. Do your research on the internet in advance, with screenshots when a site interests you, so as not to have to return to the Web while writing (the temptation to check your emails would be too strong…). The Evernote software, for example, allows you to take screenshots and therefore find information without a connection.

I also give you a trick that is worth trying: it is a way to prepare your brain to write, to motivate our mind. Close your eyes and imagine that you have finished writing what you want to write today. You don’t think about the content, only about your emotional state as you finish writing. Relief, peace, satisfaction or some excitement perhaps? Let those feelings come. Now, still staying on the emotional plane, take your imagination back in time and imagine how you feel as you are writing, in the midst of action: perhaps you are experiencing a form of positive tension wit, enthusiasm, or something else, who knows. Devote 5 minutes to this exercise, open your eyes, and begin your work and College Essay Online. You will see that you will be much more efficient than usual. It seems a little strange,

Conclusion

Here you go for a few months which will undoubtedly be intense and trying, a few months of doubts, creative enthusiasm, sometimes despair, often tension. Finally, I want to remind you that it is possible to take pleasure in writing, and it is still the best motivation! On this subject, you can consult the testimony of Caroline Muller.

And don’t forget: what blocks you is often the fear of the judgment of the other, but what will allow you to finish is the passion for your subject. So feed it!

 

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