A strong start to any writing assignment can set you up for success with whatever project. Staying organized helps with motivation and time management and can guide you through writer’s block. These are some tips I’ve gathered along the way which will let you tackle your next assignment. 

Breaking down an assignment into smaller steps is a good starting place for organization. A detailed outline is the best way to keep track of the writing steps and your progress. An outline can start basic and become more detailed over time as your writing takes shape. For analytical assignments, you can always start with the simple structural elements, like introduction, thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusion. As you develop the specifics of your argument, including your topic sentences, evidence, and analysis, you can add those to the outline. All of the work you do in the prewriting phase will make the actual writing flow much easier. 

Along with making an outline, you will want to keep your documents organized. Creating a dedicated folder for your writing project allows you to keep all your drafts and resources in one place. Within the folder, make sure you clearly label each document to reflect the content. Labeling saves you time and helps you feel in control of the work you are doing. I’ve learned to make a document for my outline separate from my draft so that I can easily reference my writing plans. Plus, if you need to share your documents or collaborate with someone, everything you need can stay in one place. 

Another way to stay organized is to have a physical or digital calendar with any due dates associated with the writing. You can create deadlines for your own benefit if there is only an official final deadline. A calendar is a valuable resource because it allows you to visualize how much work you need to do each day leading up to the deadline. You can assign work days for different parts of your writing outline to spread your writing over more days. 

Organization is all about finding a system that works for you and sticking to it. The goal for any organization tactic is to make life easier and help you accomplish your writing goals. You can give the tips above a try and adjust them to fit your needs. Any amount of organization goes a long way. 

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