Fear of failing is stopping me from doing work Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
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I'm in my first year of university and I have a short essay due in next week (10% of my grade) which I haven't started yet. It doesn't seem too hard to do but I just cannot get myself to start it as I'm scared I won't be able to do it. I haven't really written essays since I was doing my GCSEs (if you can even count GCSE essays as proper essays) and even then I found it almost impossible to get started on them as I was terrified I was going to mess it up :/

Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this?
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Ben878
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#2
Report 1 year ago
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Have you thought about doing a plan and then doing a light draft? Start by listing all the important points you're going to write about.

I think you worry that you expect to write a really good essay immediately on first try. Do not expect that to happen. If your writing is bad initially - you can tweak and edit it 100s of times to improve on it. Don't anticipate failing if you haven't atleast made the effort of trying.

Trying means so, so, so much more than nothing. So, stop thinking and get to it!

Take care
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Bappedyboopbap
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Take baby steps. Start with planning and structure. Doing a brainstorm can be a helpful way of laying out your ideas. Write the essay title in the middle of a blank page. What are the main sections you will need? i.e Introduction, Argument 1, Argument 2,.... Conclusion. Once you have these, try to think of some points you need to include in each one. If you're stumped here, then you need to do some more research/reading but now you can be more focused and look for relevant material in your lecture slides, recommended reading, articles etc. Try to produce several points on your brainstorm for each paragraph. If you plan out an essay properly and in enough detail then writing it is simply filling in the blanks and linking your points/arguments together which is far less daunting then taking it on all at once!

Another option is to talk to someone on your course. You don't need to look at/copy their work, just use them to clarify the things you are worried about and make sure you're not doing anything completely wrong, e.g how much did you write? did you include this point? which readings did you use? how many citations did you include?

If this doesn't help I would recommend speaking to your professor directly. As you are in your first year I am sure that they will not be suprised that you lack experience of writing essays. Explain that you are anxious about starting it and ask if they could provide any more information about the kind of structure and content they are expecting. The more detail you have about what is expected, the more likely it is that you will get it right!
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