As these three students navigate their research, unexpected triggers may arise, shedding light on the intricate relationship between reading, trauma, and learning.

Reading and Disruptive Emotions

We know reading can be emotional, right? Maybe your heart has swelled at a “good morning” text. Maybe you’ve wept at poetry. You may have let out a little laugh at a funny meme. Maybe you’ve felt concerned about a news headline. Maybe you’ve fallen asleep from boredom while reading your chem textbook. In any ...

Why Does Practice Matter?

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get good at something. Gladwell grounds this claim in his interviews with successful writers and review of scholarly conversations on the topic. It’s hard to say how long it takes to become a successful writer. People seem to vary. ...

pic of writing on board: "Your Life is as good as your mindset."

Self-Regulation & Metacognition

What are Self-Regulation & Metacognition? Self-regulation, a personality trait, refers to taking control of learning and the writing process oneself. Metacognition literally means ‘about thinking’. Metacognition involves thinking about thinking—about being self-reflective about your learning and thinking processes. Metacognition is usually considered to include two components: For example, consider the task of remembering a phone number. ...


Establish a Comfortable Place to Write

Ideally, you should find a quiet place where all your needed writing resources—such as a personal computer, dictionary, and paper—are set up. To help you focus on the work at hand, you may need a place that is reasonably free of distractions.

Determine Your Most Energetic Time of Day

"In fact I think the best regimen is to get up early, insult yourself a bit in the shaving mirror, and then pretend you're cutting wood, which is really just about all the hell you are doing—if you see what I mean." Lawrence Durrell

Balance Believing with Doubting

Just about everyone has moments of despair and doubt about their writing. After countless hours and the feeling that your work has been futile, that you have not clearly expressed an important concept or relationship, you may feel the urge to give up, to abandon the project.

But you can't give up. To be a successful writer (or really, to be a successful person) you need to emphasize believing. Especially in the beginning of a writing project, you need to set aside doubt, self-criticism, and despair. You need to emphasize the positive. After all, down the line, when your work is graded or critiqued by readers, you'll have plenty of time for self-criticism and doubt.

Play the Doubting Game

While playing the believing game–setting aside doubt and overly critical comments–is crucial during the writing process, playing the doubting game is equally important, especially during the latter stages of the writing process.   Successful writing partially rests on being critical and reflective about your rhetorical situation, the quality of your evidence, and the best way to ...

Play the Believing Game

Writing, thinking, creating — these acts are bounded by two contrary processes: believing and doubting. For many student writers — for many people, in fact — being critical and judgmental can come easily. Hence, the truism "it's easier to critique them to create" (Alcott). Yet it is especially important, especially in the early stages of a writing project, for writers to put doubt and criticism aside.

Learn how to play the believing game. Rather than being hypercritical of your work. Energize your work by focusing on more positive messages.

Overcome Discouragement

Give yourself positive messages when revising, understanding it’s easier to critique than to invent. Understandably, you can become discouraged during writing, particularly when undertaking a challenging project. Even so, you cannot give in to negative thinking. Six Tips to Avoid Being Discouraged Be realistic. Remember it’s much easier to criticize than invent. Every manuscript can ...


Why Should I Keep a Writer’s Log?

Realize your creative potential and avoid procrastination by logging your work.

You can be more productive and make writing less adverse if you write in brief daily sessions. By keeping a log of your writing efforts, you can:

  1. Motivate yourself. By tracking your accomplishments on a daily basis, you can develop a better sense of how research efforts and invention strategies help you break through writer's block.

Scheduling Writing

Overcome procrastination by establishing an appropriate schedule.

Schedules are extremely important to writers. Documents can almost always be improved with additional revisions, so some writers need deadlines, a line in the sand, to say "Enough is enough!" For writers who tend to procrastinate, schedules can provide an incentive to get started and keep writing.