1. Talk to your professor: s/he knows exactly what s/he wants. Don't lose points
because you misunderstood the directions!
2. Do what is comfortable for you and best for you. You may work best starting out
with a pen and paper, or learn to cut and paste the old fashioned way, or utilize
3. Sleep well, eat well.
4. Wear comfortable clothes.
5. Find a place to write that encourages good writing – this may mean finding a quiet
place, a comfortable place, a place without Internet, or somewhere that is just far
away from your daily schedule (like the library or a specially study room).
6. Get started early. That way, you can leave the writing for a while and then come back
to it with fresh eyes.
7. Give yourself incentives. Make yourself type 100 more words before checking
Facebook again. Usually, you’ll find something you can write 250 words about by
8. Read over your work out loud. Often you can hear when things sound awkward or
when they sound good.
9. Remember that, when writing a paper, the actual thesis statement can come last – it's
more important to gather information and think about a general focus. As you
research or outline, your thesis will come out of the woodwork.
10. Don't stop visiting the WC or improving your writing skills just because you get
that A. Everyone can improve his or her writing. Good writers can become great
writers; great writers, exceptional writers; exceptional writers, unparalleled writers.
Your grades only matter for the years that you're here at Hollins. Good writing skills,
however, will serve you for the rest of your life.