College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

  Harry Thorne,
  WAC Coordinator
  Office: Building 2S Rm 227
  Email WAC

Writing Across the Curriculum/
Writing in the Disciplines
for Students

 Do One Writing Task at a Time

Imagine that your brain is like a computer. I think about my brain as a laptop I used for years and years. It would freeze up if I tried to run iTunes, watch a movie, and check my email at the same time. Like that computer, I do just fine if I try to do one part of writing at a time. I first organize my ideas. Then I write a draft. Once I have a draft, I edit and proofread it.

When we try to write and edit at the same time, for example, it can be really exhausting and unproductive. This is like when my laptop would slow down and eventually stop running if I tried to run several programs at once. It was just too much for it to handle, and I ended up getting less done by pushing the computer to edit photos, download music, and check all at the same time because it kept crashing. Trying to do too much all at once can burn through your brainpower like crazy. If you’re doing a bunch of different things at once, try cutting out just one thing and see how that changes your writing. For example, if you’re trying to watch TV, check Facebook every five minutes, and write a paper, try just checking Facebook every ten minutes and writing without the TV on. You may find that you wrap up your writing a lot faster this way and you can actually enjoy watching TV because your assignment is done.   

It seems almost impossible, but you may actually write more efficiently and write better papers by just going through the steps of writing one by one.

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