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6.5 Dealing with Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can occur at any point during the writing process. You may find yourself sitting down to write when you suddenly realize that you can’t think of a single thing to say.

Don’t panic! It’s a common problem with a variety of solutions. Here are a few…

  • Staring at a blank screen can be intimidating. Try writing out your dilemma in the form of a question: “What is it I’m trying to say?” “What are my goals?” Then brainstorm[1]to answer these questions.
  • Take a break. Ten minutes away from your work will usually recharge your creativity.
  • Review the literature on your topic to see what other people are saying. Even opposing views can be inspiring.
  • Bounce ideas off someone else. Speaking about your writer’s block with friends, family, and fellow students may help untangle ideas or generate new ones.


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Expression and Inquiry by Christopher Manning; Sally Pierce; and Melissa Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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