Alana Johns is a writer at BHSEC, Cleveland-West.
BardVERSE: How do you go about gathering evidence for an essay?
Alana: Gathering evidence is something that begins as soon as I open a book. While reading, I highlight anything I feel is deep and philosophical. This helps by giving me ideas for topics, and it is fun to do. Once I come up with a topic, I open a google doc and type out what each paragraph will argue and leave space to insert quotes. When I have an idea of what I am writing, I will look to my highlighted quotes and place them where I feel they will be strongest.
BardVERSE: Is there a place or time you usually write?
Alana: I usually write in my room when the sun is gone and the moon is shining. I will come up with my arguments whenever and wherever and type them into a doc with a layout. It isn’t until the last day that I piece everything together in a hopefully poetic way. My brain is the most imaginative when its sleep deprived.
BardVERSE: What do you find most gratifying about writing?
Alana: For me, one of the most gratifying things about writing is the rush I get once I feel that I have completed my work. It isn’t because I am happy to not have to do it anymore but because of the pride I feel. Once that last word is typed out I just feel like I have released a part of myself into the world, no matter what the assignment was. I try to put a little bit of myself into everything I write because writing is my passion and my skill. So once it is complete, I just know that I have created something beautiful and unique to me.
BardVERSE: Give one tip for writing a good essay.
Alana: Read and reread your essays as much as possible. When going over it for the hundredth time you will realize that you like that last sentence better at the beginning of the paragraph or that you don’t need certain words. You can’t go over your work too much because it will only make you not become a stronger writer.