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English Undergraduate Association's Style Guides: MLA, Chicago, APA: Writer's Block

A guide for MLA Citation Format with external links to Chicago Style and APA Format

Working through Writer's Block

Writer's Block

Writer's block is one of the most frustrating aspects of the writing process. There are many methods to overcome writer's block. I will provide 6 tips that are most commonly used. Please see the "resources" tab for external links to more helpful tips! 

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Tip 1: Free write 

Many times, the ideas are there but the execution of sentence formation is daunting. Instead of going for perfectly formed sentences, try doing a free write. Write down all your ideas and just let the sentences flow out with no pressure. 

purple flowers on paper

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Tip 2: Talk to a Friend 

Talking about your paper to a friend, classmate, graduate student instructor, professor, etc. can help you gain a better understanding of what you want to write about. Talking about your topic can spark further ideas on how to go about writing your paper. 

two woman sitting by the window laughing

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Tip 3: Brainstorm 

Map out what the topic of your paper. Diagram main ideas, supporting evidence, quotes, and sources you would like to include in your paper. Once mapped, you have a diagram to follow and can begin writing your paper. 

sticky notes

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Tip 4: Take a Break

If you have spent hours writing and find yourself unable to to think of how to further develop your paper, take a break and come back to it. You can take a short or long break. Sleep on it if you have to. Come back to your paper with a fresh pair of eyes and a revitalized brain. 

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Tip 5: Do Something Creative 

Whether that be drawing, writing poetry, creating crafts, etc. Do something that allows your creative juices to continue flowing. The goal is to maintain your creativity active so that when you come back to your paper, you can transfer it over to your writing.

Benjamin franklin book

Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash


 

Tip 6: Exercise 

Go for a walk, run, circuit train, hike, play a sport, practice martial arts, do yoga etc. Working out or participating in an outdoor activity not only helps relieve stress but is great for clearing the mind. 

people running and riding bicycle

Photo by Chanan Greenblatt on Unsplash