A step-by-step guide to combat writer’s block in your JC GP essay
‘Writer’s block’ - These 2 words may just be the scariest thing you’d encounter when working on your JC General Paper essay. With the time relentlessly ticking away, you might find yourself frozen with no inspiration in mind and unable to continue. In debilitating moments like these, you might start to panic and your mind might fill with worries instead of solutions. This is a common experience shared amongst all JC students in Singapore so Zenith is sharing a step-by-step guide compiled by the best GP tuition in Singapore to be your saving grace in dire moments like this.
Step 1: Stop panicking
Calm down. Take a few deep breaths. This might seem easier said than done but it is the necessary first step to get over this slump. You might be surprised at how much something as simple as breathing would be able to clear your mind. Take a few moments to steady your heart and breathe deeply. Spending a few minutes calming yourself down might seem counterintuitive because the phrase ‘I have no time’ might be repeating in your head like a mantra but this would save you much more time in the long run. Instead of staring at your half-written GP essay (or completely blank paper), close your eyes and clear your mind so that once you’ve calmed down, you can start again with a fresh mind. After you have successfully calmed yourself down, take the time to think back on what you’ve prepared. It could be mentally re-visiting the content taught during your lessons at school or it could be the few pointers you memorized after attending the GP tuition program in Zenith. Have the confidence that you’ve prepared for this and that you will be able to cross this obstacle.
Step 2: Evaluate your work
There must have been a trigger while you were working on your essay which threw you into a state of panic. Take a step back instead of trying to push forward and re-evaluate what you have written. Was it an example you memorized but can’t seem to remember now? Is it the inability to articulate your thoughts? Find out what went wrong and pinpoint the exact problem. Not only would this help with streamlining what needs to be fixed in your GP essay, but it would give you clarity of mind and a clearer picture of the state of your essay. Who knows? Your essay would most probably start to look less “bad” in your eyes after you’ve calmed down because you realized, upon evaluating your work, that it was just a few hiccups here and there! Zenith encourages you to think back on the common mistakes made and pointed out to you by your teachers and try to see if you’ve committed them again in your essay.
Step 3: Work on what needs to be worked on
Now that you have successfully highlighted the trigger, work on it. At this point, improvisation is key. Tweak your essay to work in your favor and not against you! For example, if you struggle with remembering the exact statistics of an example you memorized, paraphrase it and give a general figure instead. A general example that still provides evidence to support your point is better than having no examples at all. The key to examples isn’t just the statistics and figures - it’s how you use it to substantiate your point. Thus, try to focus on doing that instead of beating yourself up over your inability to remember the statistics. Writing something (or anything) down can get your creative juices flowing again! If you're struggling to remember the right words to help express your views, think back on the techniques you have practiced and learned. Recall all the feedback your JC GP teachers have given you on practice essays. In times like this, focus on your strengths and use them to your advantage. If you’re stuck, stick to what you’re good at and keep in mind the feedback you have previously received.
Step 4: Think of alternative points
Should you find yourself unable to expand upon the point that you have planned on at the start of the essay, think outside the box. Try to present yourself with other possible points that can be used. Employ different techniques such as quickly brainstorming points to give you other points which you might feel more confident in writing about. Brainstorming techniques can include mind mapping and starbursting! It is advisable to simply let your brain juices flow, so spill out everything that’s on your mind! Don’t hold back. Think back upon other points that have been gone through with your tutor and what has been previously discussed in class. Another method that teachers often employ is by categorizing - political, economical, social, cultural implications and more! Being confident is half the battle won - and so if you lack the confidence to expand on a point, you might find it beneficial to make the decision to switch it out. The beauty of writing an A-Level GP essay is that there is no fixed format or model answer to replicate. The A Level GP examiners do not have an answer key to directly mark you against. This allows for flexibility in both your thought process and your answering. Remember that there is rarely a right or wrong in essay writing as long as you can substantiate it well. You are being graded on how eloquently and coherently you can present your thoughts.
In the event that you find yourself facing writer’s block when writing your JC GP essay, these 4 steps would be integral in helping you combat this problem. Stay calm and focused, reminding yourself that there is a solution to every problem. Remember to always check your work and have a final look through on what you’ve written. Make sure that it is coherent and mistakes are eradicated as far as possible. Take your A-Level GP essay as an ocean that you have complete control over. Control the tides and make them work in your favor!
We hope that you’ve found these A-Level H1 GP tips useful. Click here to be part of Zenith’s JC GP tuition program today!