Sentence Starters for Getting Unstuck When Writing

Do you ever struggle to get the ideas that are in your head out of your head onto paper?

Several of my clients struggle with this a great deal. One of my best tips is something I taught myself when I was in college.

Check out this video to find out some ideal sentence starters that will get you unstuck.

Hey, don’t have time for the full video? I understand. Here’s a quick summary:

A common problem for students, when it comes to essays, is getting their ideas out of their head and onto paper. Many of them sit there just typing and then backspacing, and they can’t even seem to get the “shitty first draft” of the essay done.

I have a couple of suggestions for this. First off, I have found that if students are talking out their ideas, it comes out much easier, and often well thought out. So when one of my students are stuck, I often will ask them questions and then write what they say. It’s surprising how well thought out their ideas are when it seems like they are struggling so much to write it. So I suggest to anyone that gets stuck writing to ask either a parent or a friend to write what they say for their first draft. If you don’t have a friend readily available, you could also talk into a recorder and then listen to it and write it down, or pretend you’re writing an email to a friend.

Another suggestion is to use some of these sentence starters:

  • “I’m trying to explain that…”
  • “I want to describe how…”
  • “I need to figure out how to say that…”
  • “What I’m trying to say is…”

While these aren’t phrases you’re teacher wants in your final draft usually, they are perfect for the “shitty first draft” and just getting your ideas down on paper.

These are just a couple of the many tips I have for writing essays, and completing homework when you feel stuck in my course, which you can learn more about by clicking here.

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2 thoughts to “Sentence Starters for Getting Unstuck When Writing”

  1. 🙂 I’m so glad you got a few laughs, Michele. “Sh**ty first draft” should be every perfectionist student’s mantra.

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