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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm in high school. Yes, I'll sound like a total whiner right now because I'm complaining about writing a one page essay (sometimes 2).

Ever since I was little, I always had difficulty trying to write. When it came to writing paragraphs in elementary school, I was writing multiple page paragraphs (not much structure compared to academic papers) because I had difficulty trying to express all of my ideas.

I find it so limiting that I have to create an argument about the philosophical implications of morality into one page. It feels like I can write an entire book about it.

Additionally, I find the starting part so maddeingly frustrating. I spend like 40% of my essay writing time on the first paragraph alone. 40% on the constant revision on the very smallest details because it feels like it's never good enough. Then I erase entire paragraphs if not pages because I feel that my paper is not great.


It's difficult trying to perform to unrealistic expectations, but I feel that I absolutely HAVE to.
And don't get me started on the timed essays...
 

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I'm actually having this problem right now, I had to write a History essay 2000 words long and ended up going over the word limit by 1500, I'm still trying to edit it down to 2000.
I just accept that the paper won't be perfect with the time and word limit I have, and that usually stops me from spending so much of the time revising the smallest details and going over paragraphs to make them perfect.
 

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In the middle of writing a five page essay right now. i feel ya.
But yeah, with timed writings its incredibly frustrating because all my thoughts are in my head but just jumbled up so i need to write an outline to get them laid out in order, but timed writings don't allow for this! gahhhh. I'm also just really tired from writing right now so i hope this is relevant to the thread. i mostly just went off the thread title...lol
 

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It is maddening because I always question, why exactly am I doing this again?

The immediate answer is that I have to. Or my teacher is an ass and will be mean to me if I don't. Or that I have to in order to get good grades. Otherwise people will judge me!

I think it all boils down to people will judge me (in a way you don't want them to) if you don't want to do something but you feel like you have to.
 

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Get used to it. Writing concisely is a skill. You won't have to worry much about the page limit once you're in university and you're writing your thesis, provided that you're not just rambling on and on.


One skill I learned to develop in AP English classes is if you're stuck in the first paragraph, try writing the conclusion, that might give you more insight into how you're going to develop the rest of your stance. You don't need to go in a linear (i.e., from start to end) when writing. You can start writing your body paragraph or you conclusion first. It depends on your form of thinking and translating those thoughts onto the paper.
 

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I find it frustrating that teachers and profs always make you edit your essays down. I thought the 2000 word limit was a minimum limit for the super lazy students. Why limit the amount of things I can say? Makes no sense.
 

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You could always keep the long version for yourself and share it on the internet if you want someone to read it. That way it would have a way greater impact than just handing it in to your teacher anyway.
Then condense it down to a short version to hand in.
Try to keep your paragraph structure as simple as possible: topic sentence - evidence - explanation.

Do you have trouble choosing main arguments because you think all aspects of the topic are equally relevant?
 

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INTP
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I was good at dashing off one-page essays in elementary school, but then when things got complicated/longer I just couldn't do it. It seems that nobody ever taught me how, and it was all quite mysterious. Now, ironically, I edit academic journal articles. I think I'm just better at moving the words around than at trying to express myself. I tell people I don't write because I have nothing to say. Anyway, here's the formula for social science writing (which I somehow grokked long after I finished university), which can be adapted to humanities, opinion pieces, etc.:

1. Background (e.g., literature review or common knowledge)
2. Procedure (or your thought process)
3. Results
4. Conclusion, which is basically (a) Tell 'em what you told 'em (summary), and (b) what it all means, e.g., Therefore, we should all stop using toilet paper or whatever.

After you've done 1-4, write the Introduction last. This includes (a) Why this topic is important or relevant, and (b) Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em (this could mean giving an outline of the essay, or stating that you're going to describe or prove something).

Hope that helps.
 

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Get used to it. Writing concisely is a skill. You won't have to worry much about the page limit once you're in university and you're writing your thesis, provided that you're not just rambling on and on.
Yes, writing concisely is a skill. The reason for a word limit is that you're being trained to write as an academic, journalist, or other kind of author, and in the real world there are word limits to articles, books, technical manuals, jokes, songs, etc. Some people do ramble on and on. Make it easy for yourself by keeping the word limit in mind at all times and using it as a framework. For example, if it's 2000 words, you might want 500-600 words each for the Background/Lit Review, Procedure/Argument, and Results; and maybe 200 words for the Introduction and 100 for the Conclusion. And read the question carefully; don't just go on and on about your favorite aspects of the topic until you've exceeded the word limit. For example, if you're asked to design a bottle rocket, applying 3 of the physics principles you've just learned, don't just start blabbing about bottle rockets. Make sure you actually *design* a bottle rocket, and that you address *each one*of the 3 physics principles. That'll take up maybe half of your 2000 words. Then write the other sections.
 

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You just have to learn to control your perfectionist feelings.

The next time you start to overthink the details of a text:

- Pause
- Take a breath
- Ask yourself "Is it really that important?"

This can help a lot to stop yourself from rewriting the same paragraph 47 times.
 

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I used to be in the same boat, although when I was still in grade school and my mom was helping me write she always emphasised that being concise is best. What you want to do is practice putting as much information into one sentence, while still making sense. It also strengthens your grammatical skill. Being concise and being able to elaborate are both skills. Teacher also put limits on papers becuase, frankly, they don't want to read your big essays. There's the preparing for "academic" papers thing, but really they just don't want to bother reading a hundred 10 page papers over the weekend.
As for the introduction, just bs through it just enough to get your point across- then revisit it once you've finished your essay.
A great way that helps you stay organized is to have another document open. One with all your thoughts and quotes you could ever possibly use and more, then just pick and choose what you want to say. That level of organization gives you greater control over what you want to write, how long it is, and in what order your thoughts come across. Usually, when I write I have a separate "research" document that ends up being 2-5x times longer than my actual essay. As I write I just sort of skim through it and pick out what makes the most sense.
Because you already are able to elaborate, you really only have to focus on condensing your information and deciding what is the most relevant to your essay.

It's possible that there won't be any advice that'll help you- it seems that you struggle with being frustrated more than anything. That was my case- you might just have to experience essay rock bottom before you can get a handle on it.
Nothing quite like having to write the longest and most grade impacting paper you've ever been assigned, and not having nearly enough time do it... ahhh college.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm actually having this problem right now, I had to write a History essay 2000 words long and ended up going over the word limit by 1500, I'm still trying to edit it down to 2000.
I just accept that the paper won't be perfect with the time and word limit I have, and that usually stops me from spending so much of the time revising the smallest details and going over paragraphs to make them perfect.
I wonder why colleges want us to write such massive amounts of work. Additionally, there is not much proof-reading in regards to writing essays so how can you improve?

In the middle of writing a five page essay right now. i feel ya.
But yeah, with timed writings its incredibly frustrating because all my thoughts are in my head but just jumbled up so i need to write an outline to get them laid out in order, but timed writings don't allow for this! gahhhh. I'm also just really tired from writing right now so i hope this is relevant to the thread. i mostly just went off the thread title...lol
I absolutely LOATH timed writing. It's so stupid. In the real world, your writing will NEVER be timed. Even if you're an academic professor, you will take your time to write stuff. Oh, and those hand cramps. It's really stupid! This is the age of computers, and you expect us to write exam papers on pencils?! We should be typing on laptops instead.

It is maddening because I always question, why exactly am I doing this again?

The immediate answer is that I have to. Or my teacher is an ass and will be mean to me if I don't. Or that I have to in order to get good grades. Otherwise people will judge me!

I think it all boils down to people will judge me (in a way you don't want them to) if you don't want to do something but you feel like you have to.
It really is stupid. Due to this SJ society we live in, we have to live under their rules. Jump through the hoops, follow "tradition", and eventually get that stupid degree to get ourselves a job.

Get used to it. Writing concisely is a skill. You won't have to worry much about the page limit once you're in university and you're writing your thesis, provided that you're not just rambling on and on.


One skill I learned to develop in AP English classes is if you're stuck in the first paragraph, try writing the conclusion, that might give you more insight into how you're going to develop the rest of your stance. You don't need to go in a linear (i.e., from start to end) when writing. You can start writing your body paragraph or you conclusion first. It depends on your form of thinking and translating those thoughts onto the paper.
Thanks for the tip! I will definitely try that out. Do you think writing can be improved? The legendary Stephen King says that he's not that good at all. Many famous authors first several revisions stated that their writings have been edited countless of times.

I find it frustrating that teachers and profs always make you edit your essays down. I thought the 2000 word limit was a minimum limit for the super lazy students. Why limit the amount of things I can say? Makes no sense.
It really does make no sense. 2,000 words? My goodness. I would be dying.

You could always keep the long version for yourself and share it on the internet if you want someone to read it. That way it would have a way greater impact than just handing it in to your teacher anyway.
Then condense it down to a short version to hand in.
Try to keep your paragraph structure as simple as possible: topic sentence - evidence - explanation.

Do you have trouble choosing main arguments because you think all aspects of the topic are equally relevant?
That's a great idea! I should definitely try doing that. I always wanted to start my own blog.

I think the reason why is because I have accumulated so much knowledge from my Internet surfing that trying to choose the best arguments is difficult. And also, my Ne is telling me that there's much better ideas.

I was good at dashing off one-page essays in elementary school, but then when things got complicated/longer I just couldn't do it. It seems that nobody ever taught me how, and it was all quite mysterious. Now, ironically, I edit academic journal articles. I think I'm just better at moving the words around than at trying to express myself. I tell people I don't write because I have nothing to say. Anyway, here's the formula for social science writing (which I somehow grokked long after I finished university), which can be adapted to humanities, opinion pieces, etc.:

1. Background (e.g., literature review or common knowledge)
2. Procedure (or your thought process)
3. Results
4. Conclusion, which is basically (a) Tell 'em what you told 'em (summary), and (b) what it all means, e.g., Therefore, we should all stop using toilet paper or whatever.

After you've done 1-4, write the Introduction last. This includes (a) Why this topic is important or relevant, and (b) Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em (this could mean giving an outline of the essay, or stating that you're going to describe or prove something).

Hope that helps.
Thanks! I'll apply your advice.

What I find really stupid is that these academic formats just kills the creativity out of you. There's not many popular blogs if any where there format is through an academic. Blogs like waitbutwhy.com are personalized and funny causing them to have millions of hits. Same thing with YouTube videos. The ones with the most subscribers are the ones who are the most real and authentic, not the ones who have professional speaking skills and that memorized a script.

Yes, writing concisely is a skill. The reason for a word limit is that you're being trained to write as an academic, journalist, or other kind of author, and in the real world there are word limits to articles, books, technical manuals, jokes, songs, etc. Some people do ramble on and on. Make it easy for yourself by keeping the word limit in mind at all times and using it as a framework. For example, if it's 2000 words, you might want 500-600 words each for the Background/Lit Review, Procedure/Argument, and Results; and maybe 200 words for the Introduction and 100 for the Conclusion. And read the question carefully; don't just go on and on about your favorite aspects of the topic until you've exceeded the word limit. For example, if you're asked to design a bottle rocket, applying 3 of the physics principles you've just learned, don't just start blabbing about bottle rockets. Make sure you actually *design* a bottle rocket, and that you address *each one*of the 3 physics principles. That'll take up maybe half of your 2000 words. Then write the other sections.
Thanks for the advice. I'll make sure to keep that in mind. :D

You just have to learn to control your perfectionist feelings.

The next time you start to overthink the details of a text:

- Pause
- Take a breath
- Ask yourself "Is it really that important?"

This can help a lot to stop yourself from rewriting the same paragraph 47 times.
Ouch. The moment I settle onto something, my Ne gives me contradicatory evidence into why I should change it again. I wish it was that easy...
 

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I completely feel you.
I'm also in high school and essay writing must be one of my weaknesses, really.
Though, we usually have to write 4 page essays in our native language (Finnish) classes. Otherwise, around 2 pages.
The worst case scenario is when you have to write an essay in your exams/timed essays. I think I need too much time to plan what I write but there seriously isn't enough time. I've proved myself that I also can't improvise because the results have been quite bad.

+ It's is way more frustrating to write on paper than on computer. You actually can edit your essay when using computer and that's one reason why I think schools should start using more laptops/tablets. Hopefully most of the time in our school we can decide whether to write on paper or with computer.

Let's just see how it'll go when I'm taking my A-levels where you basically have to sit for 6 hours and write essays.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wrote a 5 page essay when I was asked for 2. You should try to reach out to your creative energies and write on your own.
It's annoying. When you know so much about a topic, and you're asked to only write for far less?! I guess it's an NT thing. LOL

I completely feel you.
I'm also in high school and essay writing must be one of my weaknesses, really.
Though, we usually have to write 4 page essays in our native language (Finnish) classes. Otherwise, around 2 pages.
The worst case scenario is when you have to write an essay in your exams/timed essays. I think I need too much time to plan what I write but there seriously isn't enough time. I've proved myself that I also can't improvise because the results have been quite bad.

+ It's is way more frustrating to write on paper than on computer. You actually can edit your essay when using computer and that's one reason why I think schools should start using more laptops/tablets. Hopefully most of the time in our school we can decide whether to write on paper or with computer.

Let's just see how it'll go when I'm taking my A-levels where you basically have to sit for 6 hours and write essays.
I would really like an INTP to write a guide on how to write academic essays.

And I agree. In the age of computers and instant knowledge, we should be using computers to write our exams. Virtually everyone types using computers. Do these schools really think that we're going to write through our hands?
 

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It's annoying. When you know so much about a topic, and you're asked to only write for far less?! I guess it's an NT thing. LOL



I would really like an INTP to write a guide on how to write academic essays.

And I agree. In the age of computers and instant knowledge, we should be using computers to write our exams. Virtually everyone types using computers. Do these schools really think that we're going to write through our hands?
In social studies classes when I write an essay there would always be a formula to it. Sometimes I wrote too much, but sometimes you start to grasp the formula.
For example:
Topic sentence
Quote/evidence to support
Elaborate on quote
Repeat
This is how research skills works in high school. There's a place for each thing. The key is to make it your own by providing your own voice and language. That is all.
 

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writing an essay is only easy when you possess thorough knowledge on the topic you're writing about. I can be very satisfying the way it all falls into place.
 

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we should be using computers to write our exams
no. handwriting is an essential skill and should constitute at least 50% of written material in compulsory education.
Handwriting does consume paper, most times more than is needed for the finished product (planning, first draft etc.) however I believe that is one area we should not compromise on, at least up until college.
 
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