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Are You Writing Too Quickly?

When it comes to academic writing, I often say that people write too soon!

Research based writing requires several questions to be answered before beginning a draft. Some questions, like, "Who is my audience? What is my primary purpose for writing?", apply to all types of writing.

However, one question in particular is critical to research based writing. That question is: What do I want to say about my topic that is specific, relevant and meaningful?

Why is this question so critical?

Because without knowing what you what to say that is specific, you don't know what types of evidence, support and research to use to prove it. Without understanding how your topic is relevant to others in your discipline, only you will want to read it! Lastly, without having something meaningful to write that contributes to the existing scholarly conversation, you cannot impact your profession.

Remember, in relation to any topic, always ask yourself, What do I want to say about ______ that is specific, relevant and meaningful.

If you can't answer that question, don't start writing until you can. Even if how you answer that question changes as you continue to write and research, that is fine. Just know that writing too soon can create documents that are unclear, illogical and not well supported.

Until next week, happy writing!

Dr. V

Writing Coach-Editor-Speaker Author of I'm Not a Writer...I am Just in Graduate School (order your copy at

Available in hard copy and on Kindle

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