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Writing Center

If you are thinking: I’m having trouble coming up with an idea for the paper

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This means you are at the prewriting stage. For some, papers this might be a very short period, but for others coming up with something to write about could take as long as the actual composing step of your writing process.

First, acknowledge this struggle to come up with some ideas as a part of the process. Some times ideas take time.

Do something to kick-start your process

If you decide to “just start writing”—this could yield some good ideas—but keep in mind this is a “pre-writing” exercise—you are not composing the actual paper.

People often call the stuck feeling at the beginning of the writing process “Writer’s Block,” and the fact that it has a name suggests it’s a pretty common experience.

The Purdue online writing lab offers some help on figuring out the cause of your “Writer’s Block,” and how you might get through it.