The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Taliah Carmona, class of 24
My Breakthrough: Life as a Hard of Hearing Student
Taliah Carmona, Guest Writer • December 5, 2023

As the end of my senior year approaches, I’ve reflected on my last four years, which have been nothing but remarkable. I found myself finally...

Jones at a game versus SUNY Fredonia
From First Baskets to Lasting Legacies: My Journey to Le Moyne's Historic D1 Debut
Darrick Jones, Guest Writer • December 5, 2023

The Ted Grant Court at Le Moyne College has become my new proving ground, where the squeak of sneakers and the roar of the crowd serve as the...

A full commuter parking lot on campus, Lot C and CC
Alleviating the Parking Headache at Le Moyne
Corinne Becker, News & Features Editor • December 5, 2023

To say parking is a pain at Le Moyne is an understatement; between closed lots, tickets on windshields, and unauthorized vehicles taking up spots,...

Social Media and Self-Esteem: How to Manage Social Media Use
Mai Al Janabi, Staff Writer • December 1, 2023

Social media usage is often linked to self-esteem issues and mental health concerns, but given the advent of social networking sites, avoiding...

The Launch of the New Gender, Women, and Sexuality Center
Danny Mondelli, Assistant Editor in Chief • December 1, 2023

On October 18th, Le Moyne unveiled its new Gender, Women, and Sexuality Center in Reilly Hall. The event was organized by Dr. Farha Ternikar,...

Rebecca Writes: More tips for writer’s block

In the last issue, I discussed writer’s block amongst different professors, offering tips for writing essays. Recently, I’ve talked to Professor Miles Taylor of the English department and Liz Schylinski, a full-time tutor at the Academic Support Center, both of whom have had experience with students with writer’s block and can provide helpful tips for writing a successful paper. Taylor suggests talking the paper out with someone.

“Talk to the professor. Definitely make sure you’re clear on what the assignment asks and what you’re expected to do,” Taylor said. “Clarity clears up a lot of blocks. Often, too, we’re happy to brainstorm ideas with you to get you started.”

Talking out the paper develops a new method of planning: gathering ideas from other people. Another major problem that students face is becoming overwhelmed by the length of a paper.

To overcome this frustration, Taylor advises students to “break the paper up into smaller steps. Often, a block comes from the overwhelming prospect of a completed 10-page paper, say, when the thought of writing six or seven separate pieces of one and a half pages isn’t terrifying at all.”

The most important part to remember is that “you do not have to write a full paper at once. Break it up into smaller pieces.”

When writing a paper, it is important to remember the deadline you face and to schedule an ample amount of time to begin writing and work on brainstorming.

“Schedule writing time the same way you’d schedule time at the gym or time to practice an instrument,” Taylor said. “Professional writers don’t wait until the muse hits. They write every day, keeping a schedule. You’ll be less blocked if you think of writing as a job rather than as an art.”

Furthermore, students need to always keep in mind that writing is a process, involving numerous drafts and revision.

“Remember that all writers revise,” said Taylor. “The first draft can be pretty bad, but revising a bad draft gets you past the problem of no draft. It is better to have a draft that will need revisions than having a blank page.”

When writing an essay, there is no set order. The introduction could possibly be the last paragraph written.

“You don’t need to begin with the intro. That assumes you know what you’re going to say, all of it, in advance,” said Taylor. “You ought to have a tentative thesis, but your thesis may change as you discover ideas through putting them down on paper. You’ll know a lot better what your essay is about after you’ve written it than before. Imagine trying to introduce someone before you meet him, before you know anything about him. It’d make you tongue-tied.”

Therefore, in gaining a sense of your thesis, plan and decide on which audience you are talking to.

“Be clear on who your audience is,” Taylor said. “Writing for some faceless, nameless entity is more paralyzing than writing to specific reader or readers.”

The most important part of writing a paper is the fact that writing is a process that can take up large amounts of time.

“Never forget that writing is not a product; it is a process,” Taylor said. “Which is to say, as long as you remember that no writing is ever really done, there will always be room for improvement. All a deadline is is a snapshot that captures a thing in motion at one moment in time.”

Schylinski, like Taylor, also notes that students struggle with getting started on a paper.

“You don’t have to start in the beginning,” Schylinski said. “Students need to feel out where they feel most comfortable. If a student is struggling to write a thesis statement or introductory paragraph but have details, we create an outline that they can refer to. Some students write their conclusions first, already knowing their ideas”.

Furthermore, writing is never final or set in stone.

“Students feel like they are committing to words when they write an introduction, but that is not the case,” explained Schylinski. “You are never committed to words, but instead must nurture the writing process.”

Some writing tips that Schylinski provides for students are to understand and be aware of the different ways to use words.

“Put a sentence down about anything. Do something else and then come back to it,” Schylinski said. “The idea will come eventually. Leaving the paper doesn’t mean your brain stops coming up with ideas.”

Another tip that Schylinski gives is to flip through the first sentence of chapters in your favorite book.

“This helps to remind me of the different ways that words can be used, and allows me to see how sentences can be formed,” Schylinski stated. “Relying on books helps to become aware and see different writing styles.”

Going to the Academic Support Center to receive help on a paper can help students in numerous ways.

“Tutors can talk about the topic with a student, helping them think and figure out what they will be writing on,” explained Schylinski. “Tutors create an outline with students, allowing students to leave with a plan. They support the process of writing. Writing can be overwhelming but the tutors in the center are open-minded and judgment-free. The more support, the better.”

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