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Steps to Make it Less Anxiety Provoking by Beth Howard

October 16, 2013

I’ve never listed writing as one of my strengths. Over the years I’ve developed a few strategies that have helped me make the process less anxiety provoking. First, I’ll think for as long as possible about my audience and what I want them to take away from my words. I usually have a mental outline before putting anything on the computer, although I sometimes make a paper list of bullet points. Once on the computer, I usually have a few words or phrases that give me trouble. This used to derail me completely. Now I simply put in “????” and move forward. When I finish the first draft, I go back, usually change the order of things, play with the font, and replace the “????” with the (now) obvious words or phrases. If at all possible, I have multiple readers give me feedback. Spellcheck is no guarantee, and it never checks for verb tense agreement.

Beth Howard is the Director of the Undergraduate Advising Center.

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