Writer’s Block/Refining the Research Question

Writer’s Block/Developing a Question


  • Recognize the relationship of writing to the developing understanding.  In writing, you internalize your thinking.
  • Becoming comfortable with notion that writing is a mode for exploring and experiencing ideas
  • Help students develop their own processes—reducing fear of judgment with low stakes writing.
  • Establish reading/writing groups
  • Understand the relationship between reading and writing. The more you read, the better writer you become.
  • Break writing into manageable chunks.  To help solidify ideas/ordering, outline writing sections
  • Identify someone in the field you really like.  Identify characteristics of their writing.  How can students incorporate this into their writing?
  • Provide examples of bad writing;  what criteria do you look for when criticizing writing?
  • Practice other forms of communication.  Can you orally communicate your thoughts?  Project?  Can you explain this to a classmate?  Non-expert?
  • Tips for refining the question:
    • Engage library research consultation
    • Pose several questions and refine/evolve with reading/writing/discussing
    • Reading previous theses
    • Give a deadline:  commit to topic within first month.