It doesn’t have to be stellar or airtight in the beginning, just keep working on it as you keep annotating your paper through multiple revisions.
Once you have a solid narrative, look for the facts that strengthen your arguments.
Many of us feel scared and shy to jump into the fray, but sometimes the best medicine for getting out of the rut is to just do it.
This is easier said than done, though, and requires rethinking how we approach writing.
As a former classmate and good friend of mine once said: Aim for a B class paper first, then improve on it.
This is a good philosophy to have not just when writing essays, but for any challenging endeavor — it’s a marathon, not a race, pace yourself. It probably has to do with the utter bombardment of information students receive whether it’s the case undergraduate or graduate studies.I’ve seen many students complain about writing assignments because they can’t seem to find a clear direction or come up with an idea, this is especially the case with more open-ended writing assignments.Students stress out of fear of coming up with ideas that are either “unimpressive” or “stupid.” In many cases, this anxiety boils down to factors such as self-confidence or strictness of a professor, not lack of skill.A common misconception amongst students struggling to write their papers is that one must aim for perfection from the start.This probably stems from the fact that they’re surrounded by eloquent, experienced researchers and read writing that is very polished and highly edited.Instead of listing sources and facts, begin with an idea.Work on the concept or group of ideas that work towards the narrative you want to present.There’s a tendency to prioritize facts and information, hoping that they will make sense once they’re on a piece of paper.Personal experience and hours of talking with professors have shown that the opposite is true.Not surprisingly, I’ve had multiple instructors during my undergrad years say that they write the introduction last, only after they have written the conclusion.Be flexible and quiet down the inner perfectionist.