In spring 2020, I took four classes online and found myself with a lot of free time. I had enough free time that I could schedule a wisdom tooth removal appointment and spend a week eating potatoes and binging Netflix. So after a summer of doing absolutely nothing at home, I decided to add an extra class for my online fall semester.
However, what I did not know is that take five upper-division classes is a lot more different from taking four lower-division classes. When the syllabi came in, I started to understand how writing and reading heavy the classes I signed up for were. The first thing I did was figure out what classes were asynchronous and which were synchronous. Some of the classes had live in-class participation points, and it was important to consider that.
Next, I marked down all the important papers, midterm, and final exams on a calendar to keep a better track of time. There were two different weeks where I had to write four papers. My tip for writing multiple papers is to spend time brainstorming ideas. I would be taking care of my niece or on Twitter when I had an idea for my paper. By reading the prompts ahead of time, you allow yourself time to think of a couple of ideas. Also, if you have a friend or sibling that can talk to you about arguments and ideas, it will come in handy. My brother and I usually seek each other’s opinions, but it is time where we can further develop our thoughts.
After, brainstorming I suggest taking a few hours from a day or half the day to start writing the paper. You can switch around from papers, but what usually worked best for me was devoting a day or a few hours to one paper. If you do not have a lot of privacy at home or get distracted by hearing family talk in the kitchen, I suggest finding a place you can be alone and hear music. I usually listened to one album on repeat and sometimes one song to focus on my writing.
Lastly, leave the room, computer, phone alone for some time. There were days before a deadline where I was stressed and experiencing writer’s block and decided to take time away from the assignment and electronics. Allowing yourself space can help you come up with an idea or two.