Fear of a White Sheet of Paper

How to write the first paragraph without a nervous breakdown

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Step 1: Start with the “White Paper” Brainstorming Technique.

Instead of wasting hours to generate a catchy opening phrase, spend some quality time brainstorming about your topic. The special technique to combat the fear of a white paper is as follows: time yourself for good 10–15 minutes and write down any associations you may think of, when looking at your theme. The terms may include, but are not limited to, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, quotes, phenomena, or even anecdotes related.

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Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Step 2: Use “Umbrella Terms.”

Now, when your Word document is no longer empty, it’s time to do some brainstorming revision. The key to productive brainstorming lays in the effective usage of “umbrella terms,” and if you don’t know what that means, I will school you a little. Umbrella terms are used to cover a broad topic, combining several single items related to one category. An example of the umbrella term may be “fruit” for apples, oranges, and peaches.

  • Necessary nutrients: vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber
  • Healthy food products: vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, nuts etc.
  • Unhealthy food products: cakes, processed sugar, red meat, chips
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Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash

Step 3: Develop Argument for Each “Umbrella Term.”

In the final step of the process, look at each of your categories separately and think what is that you’re trying to argue with these phrases. Note that these are not supposed to be your fully-developed topic sentences, rather guidelines for your future paragraphs. In other words, instead of worrying about the structure and clarity of your arguments, use the generated umbrella terms to understand what the overall focus of your article will be.

  • Make sure your newly designed diet includes all the necessary nutrients: aim at eating 40% of carbs, and 30% of proteins, and fats a day; include fiber for better digestion, consume vitamins A, Bs, C, D, and others with various food products.
  • Balance your diet, exchanging unhealthy food products with much healthier alternatives: when craving for cakes and other processed sugar, eat fresh fruit; compensate for fats in chips and other snacks with nuts and quinoa; instead of red meat, give preference to chicken and fish.
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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Content creator for Cool Club. Write about writing, lifestyle, and relationships.

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