Have you read a dozen articles with writing advice, but nothing helps? Do you feel like writing essays is not your strongest ability, and this makes you sad? Don’t worry, maybe you just haven’t found your writing style, and today we are going to solve that problem by using an essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird,” one of the most popular novels to be given as an academic assignment for analysis.
Determine your writing style
Do you belong to the group of people who strive for perfection and separate the paper into small bits to work on minuscule details? Or, maybe, you prefer to procrastinate to the very last moment to feel the rush of adrenaline under pressure, and then read the novel overnight and write your essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in one big leap of creativity with empty coffee cups crowding your table. Regardless of what your style is, there’s no good and bad, these are just different ways to approach the task, and you can make them both work for your benefit and without testing your nerves.
Check whether you are a perfectionist or a hot mess type of writer by going through this simple questionnaire:
1. You easily get stuck on tiny details and find yourself digging deeper and deeper into the topic.
2. You write down whatever comes to your head, and you are naturally good at free writing exercise.
3. You assess your thoughts critically and pick only those which contribute to the topic.
4. You believe that drafts are ineffective and waste your time.
5. You become nervous if the time you can work on your essay is limited.
6. The less time you have to write a paper, the more productive you are.
7. You find it easy to backup your thesis with quotes from the text and critical articles of literary experts.
8. You tend to be more descriptive than persuasive in your works.
9. Writing an outline is one of your favorite parts of working on an essay or a research paper.
10. Usually, moderate stress makes you more productive and creative.
11. You don’t have any problems with formatting your paper and barely make mistakes.
12. You are terrible at doing formalized parts of the papers, such as a bibliography, and would rather write two main bodies than one bibliography or abstract.
If you have answered “yes” to the majority of questions under even numbers, then you are a “hot mess” type of writer. If you have more yeses for questions under odd numbers, you are an organized and structured perfectionist. However, there are hardly pure types of these two ways of dealing with things. We are all a mixture of these two, so find out which is prevalent in you to benefit from the strengths of your style and avoid weak points and quirks.
Tips for each writing style
At this point, you should have an insightful state where you understand why you have never been good at details, or why you are stressed beyond the limit when you have to write an essay in a limited amount of time in class. Now it’s time to explore your unique features and make them work for your benefit.
Tips for a perfectionist:
1) No, you don’t need five drafts. And yes, you can make small mistakes and corrections, and (oh God!) even cross out an entire paragraph and write some notes in tiny handwriting on top of it. Don’t be afraid to get wild with your “To Kill a Mockingbird” essay.
2) Stress can be your friend. Yes, it is an unpleasant feeling, and it’s okay not to enjoy it, but you can definitely make it work for you. Start challenging yourself with topics you know well. For example, you know that tomorrow you will write an essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in class. Do not make a draft at home! The only thing you are allowed to prepare is a brief plan with major milestones. Remember that your essay doesn’t need to be academic perfection, especially if you write it in the class with limited time.
Tips for a hot mess:
1) Don’t write the essay without a plan and a draft, if you are doing a home assignment. Seriously, been there, seen that. Do you remember how many mistakes you’ve made last time you did so? We are not questioning your immense creativity or your ability to express all your ideas in words clearly from the very first attempt, but the facts speak for themselves. You need at least a draft if plans and outlines cause you to feel nauseous. If you have a perfectionist friend, talk to him or her, and you will learn why outlines are good. Also, you may pass a little of your creative and messy attitude to them, which will be helpful.
2) Do at least minor preparations. Returning to the aforementioned example with classroom “To Kill a Mockingbird” essays, unlike your perfectionist friend, who already has three plans, a draft and short notes with important quotations, you at least need to read the book. And highlight or, even better, write down important quotes and moments that impressed you. Also, you can try to load your brain with as much information on the topic as you only can, and suitable facts will pop up in your memory in a stressful situation, but it’s better to test this method before writing your classroom “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme essay, since it doesn’t work for everyone.
Regardless of your method of working and processing information, remember that there are no good and bad ways, especially when it comes to creating something. Follow your unique patterns, and you will discover the secret for a great essay without stress and pain in the – well, you got it.