Do What You Can See

Sometimes the students in my writing classes really struggle to write an essay.  Sometimes people stare at the blank page, trying to write the first word of the first sentence of the introduction.  Also, sometimes people try to figure out every improvement in revision all at once, and they aren’t sure what will help.  In both cases, the answer is usually to do what they can see.  They can see how to write a body paragraph or a couple of improvements to make.  It’s best to make the progress that they can see how to make.  Once they’ve finished with what they could see to start with, usually they can see what to do next.  That is, making some progress leads to clarity about the next step.  The same works for most things in life, too.

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