How To Move Away from High School Writing

    • You don’t need to start with the introduction. Instead, try to start with your initial favorite ideas or quotes and expand from there.
    • Write your introduction last, after you have a good sense of what you’re writing.
    • Make your paragraphs short and readable. They don’t need to be perfectly capped with topic and concluding sentences.
    • Rewrite and revise your thesis after you’ve finished the first draft of the essay. Your argument has probably changed!
    • Double check with your professor first (but they’ll probably say yes!)
    • Lean into personal stories, strong statements, and the active voice
    • Avoid statements like “I think” or “I believe”
    • Look at the readings: how are those authors using “I”?
    • Humor is okay, and even encouraged (in moderation)
    • Professors are humans, not machines and not AP Graders. They want to be entertained and learn along with you.
    • Think about your own “red line”–the point where a reader may lose focus
    • Office hours can be beautiful spaces for growth and learning. Your professors want to talk to you about your writing!
    • You can meet with your professor after you get comments back, not just before you submit an assignment.

How do I have fun with my writing?

    • Keep a list during the class of things you feel passionate about
    • Find ways to connect your extracurriculars, hobbies, and background to class material
    • Keep a check list. Things can be as small as “create a blank document” or “print out my essay.”
    • Whether it’s a parent, friend, peer, sibling, ~writing center tutor~ or a real rubber duck, find someone with whom you can verbally process your essays.
    • Find new places to study
    • Romanticize your writing process (you look just like Hemingway!)
    • Eat fun snacks
    • Use colorful pens
    • Celebrate your little victories
    • We’re so fun! More importantly, we want to meet with you.
    • Make an appointment today using Accudemia!


[Developed by Writing Tutors Emma McTague ’23 & Emma Nathanson ’25 • Writing Workshop Winter Study Series • 1/11/23]