When a student is tasked to write the research paper or academic research, it translates to being inches away from finishing the course. However, because of how detailed a research paper needs to be, most people experience burn out when writing. This “writer’s burnout” is the reason students from different academic levels experience a slump.
What Is Writer’s Burnout?
Some people confuse writer’s block with burnout, but the two are completely different. Writer’s block is that feeling of not being able to place what you had in mind on an empty page. Meanwhile, a writer’s burnout is when the writing project has caused the writer to wear themselves out and start hating writing.
What Causes Writer’s Burnout?
Burnout happens when people have pushed themselves too hard to accomplish certain tasks but are unable to do it within the expected timeframe. Burnout is experienced by people of all ages and employment — and it is certainly not foreign territory to writers.
When writing, the signs of burnout could include:
- Exhaustion – If you feel physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion. You may feel like you have run out of energy to do even the simplest tasks. For those writing their research papers, this translates to looking at it as a chore instead of a helpful activity.
- No Motivation – This becomes apparent when not even the thought of passing the course or graduating can make you look at your notes or type one more word. If the feeling extends for weeks or months, you have writer’s burnout.
- Forgetfulness – Forgetting little things and becoming increasingly absent-minded is a sign of stress and burnout.
- Negative Thoughts – Are you becoming Negative Nancy? Have you become more pessimistic than usual? You may be experiencing burnout.
- Work Quality Suffers – If you have negative feelings, these are likely to translate to your work. If the quality of your work drops, you may be stressed, overworked, and burnt out.
Why Students Hate Writing their Research Paper
Students today have gotten so used to using advanced communication tools but have oddly found it more difficult to express themselves through writing. According to a report by the Nation’s Report Card in 2011 during the first computer-based assessment in writing, at least 27% of students in Grades 8 and 12 are proficient at writing. Meanwhile in the 2016 ACT, around 40% of students in high school were said to be incapable of turning in written work at a college level.
Experts interpret the struggle of many students in writing as a result of their lack of interest. Most students do not feel the need or the enjoyment of engaging in writing because:
- Students may not appreciate the subject matter. the relevance of the topic that they are writing about. Sometimes, especially if they are working within a group, writing becomes a tedious task instead of an activity worth doing.
- Students feel pressured to aim for perfection. Attempting to perfect writing from the beginning slows the writing process. In research writing, there is a pressure to follow standard formats, appropriate grammar use, and methodologies. These could overwhelm a student especially if placed under the scrutiny of a panel.
- Some students fear feedback. Having someone critique your work is a vital aspect of the writing process. Bad, slow, or no feedback can demotivate them.
- Students may not like their advisers. Research paper advisers can also demotivate students if they are not approachable or if their methods are considered draconian.
How to Deal with Burnout
If you are in a writing slump right now, the bad news is, you may be wasting precious time to get your research paper done. The good news, however, is that you are not alone and that you have the ability to overcome that rut you’re in.
Deal with burnout by following these tips:
- Acknowledge that you are going through a tough time. Acknowledgement is the start of understanding where you, what you’re feeling, and how it has affected your motivation to write.
- Seek help. If you are working with a group, divide the work among yourselves to make it easier to finish the task. If you are alone, look for a writing buddy with whom you can exchange notes or just talk to when you feel demotivated.
- If you are working alone, divide the research project into different parts that you can accomplish within a set time. Nobody expects you to finish it within a week, and you will never be able to finish it without starting. The easiest compromise is to divide your tasks into workable chunks.
- Create a reward system for every milestone so you will find new motivations while accomplishing the task. A very effective step on how to recover from burnout is giving yourself a treat once in a while so you have something to look forward to.
- Make research writing a task, not the whole world. One of the mistakes that people make is wrapping their whole world around that one big project and forget that there are other things that they can still accomplish. The easiest way to deal with it is to treat writing as another task no different from any other.
- Always keep your mind open for critique. Hearing feedback, especially negative ones, can demotivate anyone. However, critiquing is part of the writing process because there may be errors in your paper that only others can see. Instead of resenting feedback, embrace them and acknowledge that they are handed out to help your work get better.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. Remember that each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Focus on yourself and your own tasks. It will be much easier for you to move forward this way.
- Keep a good work/life balance. You see, some people tend to focus on one aspect of their lives without realizing that they are missing on very important things. Do not miss out on important events or occasions just because you want to force yourself to write.
- Be smart, work smart. Working smart only means making the most out of the available time you have. With the bulk of work that you need to finish, you may end up using most of your time for it. Do not fall for this trap. Instead, you can just allocate time for all things at hand and make sure to finish them as scheduled.
- Rest. Set aside time every day to pause and do nothing. You owe it to yourself to stay away from the tasks that drain you. Resting also reinvigorates you so you regain the energy you need to return to those tasks.
Research writing is part and parcel of any student’s life, a hurdle before the finish line. Push forward towards that goal. You’re almost there. If you need help with your writing, turn to Masters Essay, for you to learn academic writing from. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiry.