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Overcoming Writer's Block

There are several certitudes about the fall. The days get shorter, the leaves fall off the trees and college applicants lose an abundance of precious time due to writer's block. This is an area where we have dutifully assisted thousands of applicants since 1996. Accordingly, we decided to add this article and video so we could expand that reach and potentially help many additional applicants.

Here are our top 5 tips for helping you overcome writer's block:

1. Self impose a deadline.

It has to be made well short of the actual deadline for obvious reasons. We're all aware how well most high school students can write when they only have an hour to complete a paper.

2. Talk it out.

If you are too shy to ask a friend or family member, use a mirror. Answer the essay prompt to yourself. If this seems simple, it's because it is. (We have found it to be as effective as it is simple!)

3. Distance yourself from potential distractions.

If your environment is too noisy, go to the library. If hunger pains are your Achilles heel, stay far away from the kitchen or any vending machines. And if Youtube, Facebook, fantasy football or other Internet destinations are overly tempting, unplug, grab paper and pencil and start writing!

4. Start anywhere.

If you are struggling with a good attention grabbing introduction, start with a thesis point. You can even start with the conclusion. The goal is to get started and break the inertia.

5. Do NOT worry about grammar.

If you were starting a major wood working project, you wouldn't be overly concerned with paint or finish color at the start of the project, would you? Of course not! Likewise, you shouldn't worry about grammar and wordsmithing until the later rounds of revisions.


Are you struggling with writer's block? We can help you select the best topics for your essays and ensure the admissions committees see you in the best possible light. Please call us at 1.800.809.0800 (+1 703.242.5885 outside the US and Canada) or email us if you do. Our consultants can also help you with school selection, application strategies, application and interview preparation, and all other aspects of the college admissions process.

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