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Thread: Can you help me start this paper??

  1. #1

    Default Can you help me start this paper??

    I really have no idea why, but whenever I'm supposed to write a paper for any class of any length, I both procrastinate badly, and I never know how to start out with it. It usually takes me a while to build up momentum as well.

    I really need help starting this one. It's on Vlad Dracula, and it's due in 5 days. It must be 1500 words long, but it can be longer.

    I have almost zero organization when writing papers, I usually go headlong into these things and end up getting a bad grade. I need help with what to do!

  2. #2


    Organization is important.
    When I had to write papers I made three "columns" about the relevant subject:
    "Must include hard facts", "Less important facts" and "Trivia, will include if room"

    Once you have that, your own fantasy and creativity comes in to play, trying to flesh out those facts with your own words in between.
    At the end, include a source list from where you gathered your facts (teachers seems to like that)

    And donīt wait untill the last day to make it! Break it down into pieces (I will do that today, that tomorrow etc)

    I hope this helps, and good luck!

  3. #3


    This is more from a technical writing perspective, but I think it applies to just about any form of paper. Basically I think the secret is to not write the paper from start to finish, but to evolve the paper as a whole from an initial kernel.

    - Basically start with a seed. What are you trying to say in the paper.. what is the point..
    - Break that into a few key points / general headings ..
    - Then expand those general headings into a short list of what you want to say under each heading
    - Then expand those..

    And so on and so on.. until you basically get a skeleton of your paper. Then just do the necessary word-smithing to turn those points into sentence, tack on an intro and a conclusion and finally re-read and edit as required until you are happy.

    I know you didn't ask "how to write papers" but "how to get motivated", however I think this applies. Starting from the top with "Vlad the impaler was..." and trying to figure out what to do from there can be daunting and can make it hard to, as you said, get momentum. A more designed approach like the one I described can feel less overwhelming.. because you just kind of start hammering out bullet points and before you know it, you've got your paper flushed out.

  4. #4


    A bit of background on Vlad the impaler can fill up a thousand words easy you pick a very facile subject. Start with who he was then go to when he went into power and then go from there to the end of his life. his shock technics can make up a rather sizable paragraph.

  5. #5


    the quickest way to write a lonnngggg paper is to digress alot

  6. #6


    Put in a picture. Aren't pictures worth 1000 words??

  7. #7


    Today's writers have it so much easier than my generation, which was the typewriter generation. I say this only to point out that you can just start, saying anything knowing that you can go back, and by copying and pasting, rearrange the entire paper, spending only a few minutes.

    Every time I sit down to write, especially my novel, I'm afraid I won't have anything to say, but that has never happened. You just have to sit down and start. That said, I took two writing classes 10 years ago, at our local community college. They were classes on expository writing, so I would have to do research. Typically, I would let my quotes drive the paper. In a couple of cases, I would print out the quotes, cut them out, and glue them to some cardboard, the quotes rearranged so they would be in logical order. Then I wrote the paper around them.

    At the junior high school level, where I work, we teach our kids to make a four square. There is a center square which has the central topic. The main four squares are for each paragraph. The last square is the conclusion. You simply have to find some sort of organizing method which works for you.

    Believe it or not, the three short stories which I have written for this site I had in my head. That included all the major events. I envisioned them in order, as if each event was in a box, the boxes all in order. Then I just sat down and wrote the story, gong from one box to the next. Writing is an art, but an exciting one when it all come together. When I had that college writing course, we had to read Faulkner's short story, Barn Burning. I wrote a great paper, one that I was very proud of. The story spoke to me, and I was passionate about what I wrote. To a large degree, it's about child abuse, and doing the morally correct thing.

    There is so much interesting material about Vlad the Impaler. Collect your information and have fun. Take it to the next level and make a connection to some horrible person today. The world has just recently killed several of them, from Osama Bin Laden, to Momar Ghedafi. It shouldn't be hard to write a great paper.

    As I said in "Going Home", when Dorian turns Mikie into a vampire, drains him of his blood and stops his heart forever, he listen to his chest to hear the blood begin to flow. He wondered, "What great mystery gave it life?"

  8. #8


    Alright, thanks everyone! I do feel overwhelmed and thus I dread trying to start this thing haha. I'll remember these pointers!

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