As you write12 - Are you Actually Answering the Question?
This simple check can stop you wasting a lot of time.
This stops you heading down the wrong path
Answer the actual question
How does your writing rate on the “Crap-O-Meter” ?
We often take the path of least resistance. In nature electricity and heat follow the materials of least resistance. Spilt water follows the easiest way to get to the lowest point. This is all to do with using the least energy.
People often follow the path that is the least work and causes the least stress. We can easily make this mistake when writing a report or essay. When writing we can get on to a line of thought then follow it because it feels comfortable. We can write lots of words very quickly because it feels right and it feels easy. We feel less stressed when we do this.
However, have you actually answered the right question? What about the right sub-questions? Where does your writing rate on the Crap-O-Meter? What percentage is rubbish?
What really is stressful is when you finish your assignment and then find that you have not actually answered what they are after. Man, we did this a lot as students!
This is the point of developing the structure of your essay as your first step.
The foundation of your house needs to be strong and well made; otherwise your house will have problems.
If the structure of your assignment is flawed, then it will have problems.
So, even though just sitting down and writing feels less stressful and the easiest thing to do, there is a good chance that it will lead to your report or essay having problems, as you have not set up a good structure.
So, when you first sit down, lay out the structure.
The Crap Test.
We also recommend that after you have written 10% of the essay you stop and go back to check if your structure is right and that you are actually answering the question. We like to call this technique a “Crap Test.” You may wish to do this at regular intervals throughout the writing process.
Check to make sure that what you have written so far is not simply a “pile of crap.” 😉