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  Where Do I Start?

I. WHERE DO I START?

There are lot of lectures in this course. Some of them are shorter, some are longer. Some are more theoretical, and some are more applied. If you want to make the most efficient use of your time, where should you start?

It's an important question, because if you just start from the top and work your way down, you may find yourself watching a lot of videos that, while interesting (I hope!), may not address the particular questions and concerns that motivated you to look at this course.

1. WE ARE ALL IN DIFFERENT PLACES, AS STUDENTS AND AS WRITERS

As a unique individual you will approach and interpret the material in this course from where you are, based on your specific interests, needs and goals. An anxious high schooler senior or first-year college student will approach this material very differently from a more advanced writer or educator. If you are very practical and grade-oriented, that will affect how you approach this material as well.

2. DON'T BE AFRAID TO JUMP AROUND!

Because your interests are very specific to you, you should feel free to jump around and explore the content in any order you wish.

Within each section there is a natural progression of videos, but I recommend jumping between sections to explore the content that you find most interesting or important to you right now.

The other videos will still be here, and you can come back to them whenever you like!

3. THREE KINDS OF CONTENT

It's helpful to think of the content in each section as falling primarily into one of three categories:

  1. Theoretical/Conceptual Discussions
  2. How-To and Applied/Practical Topics
  3. Essay Writing Case Studies

Theoretical/Conceptual Discussions: These lectures talk about the nature of writing, the nature of the writing process, what is distinctive about essay writing, why academic essays have the structure they do, best practices for organizing your writing workflow, and so on. The goal of these lectures is to gain some perspective and understanding about what you're really doing when you're writing an essay.

How-To and Applied/Practical Topics: These lectures show you how to do something (write an introduction, organize an essay, cite a source, etc.), and give advice on approaching practical aspects of the writing process (e.g. how to deal with writer's anxiety and writer's block).

Essay Writing Case Studies: These lectures show the essay writing process in action by working through a particular piece of writing, or writing an essay from scratch.

NOTE: There is always some overlap between these categories (e.g. theoretical discussions are often important for learning how and why to approach a certain practical task).

II. GROUPING SECTIONS INTO "THEORETICAL", "APPLIED" and "CASE STUDY"

Here's a high-level snapshot of how the sections break down in terms of their focus.

THEORETICAL:

  • Section 2: Why are Writing Skills Important?
  • Section 3: What is the Most Efficient Way to Improve My Essay Writing?
  • Section 8: How Can I Improve My Writing Style?

THEORETICAL and APPLIED:

  • Section 4: How Should I Approach the Writing Process?
  • Section 5: What is My Ideal Writing Workflow?
  • Section 6: What Does A Structured Approach to Essay Writing Look Like?

CASE STUDY:

  • Section 6: What Does A Structured Approach to Essay Writing Look Like?
  • Section 7: Follow Along as I Write a Real College Essay from Start to Finish