Understanding Writing Blocks

Paperback | September 15, 2001

byKeith Hjortshoj

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Why do capable students and scholars fail to complete writing projects? What are "writing blocks," and how can writers overcome them? Why are writing blocks more common for advanced and experienced writers who are not supposed to need help? And why are they more common in the humanities thanin the sciences? Keith Hjortshoj answers these and other questions in Understanding Writing Blocks. This book demystifies the causes of writing blocks, which are often ignored, misunderstood, or attributed to obscure psychological disorders. Hjortshoj examines blocks instead as real writing problemsarising from specific misconceptions, writing behaviors, and rhetorical factors present at different stages of the writing process. In a lively and informative style, he defines the nature of writing blocks, examines their causes, and offers advanced undergraduates, graduate students, andprofessional writers the diagnostic tools and strategies necessary for getting their work done. Although appropriate for any writing course, Understanding Writing Blocks targets advanced composition students and graduate writers who are most likely to encounter immobilizing obstacles, and whoseexperience supports the author's assertion that a writing block is usually "an affliction of the good writer." Hjortshoj draws his material and evidence from extensive research, interviews, and consultations with blocked writers from his twenty-five years of teaching. Especially helpful to studentsworking on dissertations and other complex projects, Understanding Writing Blocks illuminates the factors that undermine writing ability in a wide range of endeavors.

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From the Publisher

Why do capable students and scholars fail to complete writing projects? What are "writing blocks," and how can writers overcome them? Why are writing blocks more common for advanced and experienced writers who are not supposed to need help? And why are they more common in the humanities thanin the sciences? Keith Hjortshoj answers thes...

Keith Hjortshoj is at Cornell University.

other books by Keith Hjortshoj

Format:PaperbackPublished:September 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195141369

ISBN - 13:9780195141368

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Are Writing Blocks Real?A Personal Problem?What Blocks Are NotThought and MovementBlocks Are Real Writing Problems2. Product and ProcessThe Value of PrivacyStage Fright in RhearsalWhat Are You Actually Doing?The Phases of the Writing Process3. Lines, Loops, and DelaysMaking Lines Out of LoopsEuclidian MythsSpiral ProgressNotwriting4. Methods, Standards, and Premature JudgmentsMany Right WaysWhose Standards Are You Trying to Meet?The Challenge of Governing Expectations5. Transitional Blocks in Undergraduate StudiesDiagnosticsDevelopmental Blocks in the Transition to CollegeFacing the Necessity of RevisionInstitutional Causes and Unfortunate Solutions6. What Is Your Thesis?Endless IntroductionsWhat Writers NeedLiminalityRhetorical Supports in the Sciences7. Putting Writing in Its PlaceMaking the Next MoveSyntactic BlockSettling for LessGender, Time, and Space8. Scholarly ProductionSynopsisA Hidden CategoryBinge Writng Versus ModerationCosts and Benefits9. What Can You Do?The Normality of Writing BlocksThe Reality of a Writing BlockWhat You Can DoA Note to Teachers and AdvisorsWhat Teachers Can DoWhat Advisors Can DoReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Very good for an upper-level writing class because it focuses on problems that serious students experience."--Thad Cockrill, Southwest Tennessee Community College