For VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.
Many secondary and university students have returned to classes, or soon will. Some students worry about academic writing – writing for school. Writing papers can be hard – even a little frightening. This is especially true if you are not writing in your first language. So we have asked some writing experts in the United States for advice.
Mary Ann Allison is a writing professor at Hofstra University in New York. She is also a poet and a writer. She says starting a paper is often the most difficult part of writing for school. Ms. Allison says students should choose to write about things that interest them a lot if they have a choice at all. She says the more naturally interested the student is in the subject the better he or she will write. She says it also makes the process of writing easier. But, Ms. Allison says the student should also consider how much information is available on the subject of interest. Ms. Allison says the next step in writing a paper is to produce a plan, or outline, of the paper. She says the writer should come up with several main points.
Ms. Allison says she usually produces five to ten points and then stops. Then, Ms. Allison says the writer should sleep on it. In other words, do not think about it until the next day. She says to let your unconscious mind do a little of the work for you. She believes you will further develop your ideas when you are at rest. Finally, it is time start fully researching your subject. Collect the needed information. Only then, Ms. Allison says, should a student begin to write.
For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.