Fall. That single word carries so much weight and so many memories. One of the things that comes to mind with that word is the season of harvest time. So how is fall (and all the things deliciously related to it) connected to writing? I’m glad you asked. There's a significant amount of prep work that goes into the goods harvested in this season; the same goes for writing a paper.
When preparing for the harvest, a farmer works the soil and plants seeds. This is comparable to brainstorming and writing an outline. Brainstorming represents the breaking up of hard ground and the thinking about what needs to be “planted.” After you have thought about your topic, you begin to outline your paper. The main points of your paper are the seeds that you will grow.
Once the prep work is done, it is time to grow the paper. Filling in details about your main points is one of the most important parts of the writing process. Just as plants grow up from the ground and are developed from seeds, the main points of your outline will be developed in the body of your paper.
Here comes the tedious part: weeding. During the growing season you will notice your crop has some unwelcome weeds. These weeds might not be obvious at times, but they do need to be found and pulled out. Contractions, misplaced/misspelled words, formatting errors, and other such problems might not be immediately noticeable in writing, but these “weeds” need to be removed to create a clean, academic paper.
This is the final step of writing. After you have cleaned up your paper, it is time to turn it in. You are cutting it loose from your control and handing it over to your professor. And when it is done, CELEBRATE! Just as the harvest is celebrated, you should celebrate the completion of your paper.
I hope that you have a productive paper-writing process as you enjoy the beauty and delicious flavors of fall. If you have any questions or concerns, please stop by the Undergraduate Writing Center during our office hours in DeMoss Hall between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F or in the library between 5-9 p.m. M-Th. We would love to go through the process with you!