Expert writers and speakers spend considerable time composing, thinking about what they want to say, and tailoring it to a specific audience. They spend time in preparation, doing research, going through a drafting process, getting feedback on ideas, and refining their work. Accomplished speakers often spend time practicing, getting a look at a venue before they start, and reviewing notes or outlines. The bottom line? What separates experts from novices is investment of time and effort.
Students may not know this. Starting a writing or public speaking project even a week in advance of the due date is probably devoting more time to it that they think necessary. In their world, experts already know what they’re doing, so they need less time to produce something good.
As a faculty member, you can build time into your syllabus that will help students practice more mature composing habits, but what else can you do?