In our latest blog post, we announced our collaboration with Cambridge University Press to help streamline the publication process of COVID-19 research. But doing research in such anxious times can itself be difficult, and many researchers find themselves struggling to sustain the focus and concentration required to write academic papers. Read on for our three tips on how to keep going.

1) Revise your expectations

You may be the sort of goal-driven student or researcher that thrives on achieving goals and reaching targets. In terms of writing, this might mean that you will aim to write a specific number of words or pages a day. There is no need to stop setting yourself such goals if that is what motivates you in normal times. Rather, consider lowering your writing target for each day - so if you are normally used to writing 1000 words per day, perhaps 500 is already very good for now. Be kind to yourself!

2) Take a break

The dreaded writer’s block has become a daily reality for many. Keeping the momentum going can be difficult at the best of times, but taking a break is a surprisingly easy and effective strategy to help. So rather than stare at your computer screen for hours on end in search of that perfect word or sentence, go for a short walk around your neighbourhood or have a quick virtual chat with a friend. You will come back to your work refreshed, in a better mood and with a different perspective.

3) Get help

There is nothing wrong with asking for help if you are struggling. You could ask a friend or relative to proofread your paper if you are concerned about language mistakes, or take advantage of automated help offered by tools such as Writefull.

By screening your text and offering language suggestions that are relevant to academic writing, Writefull makes the writing process faster and easier. You can relax and stop worrying about the quality of your English, and focus instead on the substance of your paper.  If you are stuck for words and in need of some inspiration, you can also browse our sentence palette and database of scientific texts. There you will find wording and sentence structures that you can incorporate straight into your text. Writefull does all the hard work for you - well, almost.

Take care everyone!

About the author
Mélodie is an Applied Linguist at Writefull.