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Divergent Writing Quiz – What Faction Are You?

October 23, 2014


by: Katelyn Stark

How do you define your writing style? Do you always follow a strict outline, not allowing yourself to step out of the lines of your beautifully-crafted bullet points? Do you just let the pen take you where it will, even if your mind doesn’t know where it’s heading? Are you an excessive planner, spending most of your time doing research before writing down a single, independent thought? Do you do your best writing last minute, because the pressure of the deadline really gets your writing-juices flowing? Or are you the revisionist, putting random thoughts on paper, then revising to sort through the madness?

Use the following quiz to figure out what your writing style is:

  1. When do you start preparing for a paper?
    1. After I know how it will be laid out.
    2. When the ideas come to my head.
    3. After the first draft is written.
    4. What paper?
    5. When you have enough sources.
  2. What does revision mean to you?
    1. I have an outline so I don’t need to revise.
    2. I will revise if it doesn’t sound right.
    3. It’s the most important process
    4. I don’t have time to revise. Whatever I get out the first time is good enough.
    5. My paper is full of sources that are already perfect.
  3. For you, what is the most important step in the writing process?
    1. Setting up the structure before I write, so I know what to say.
    2. Getting my thoughts into sentences. Once I start, I don’t have trouble finishing.
    3. Going back over the paper, and looking for ways to improve.
    4. Getting the paper done before class starts.
    5. Finding the information that goes into the paper.
  4. What part of the writing process do you struggle with the most?
    1. Finding ways to be creative in my paper, or expanding on ideas when I get stuck.
    2. Finding structure in my thoughts, and using sources throughout.
    3. Getting started with ideas.
    4. Having time to go back over the paper for errors.
    5. Coming up with ideas of my own. I rely too heavily on what other people have said on the topic.
  5. When do you get the most amount of work done for your paper?
    1. In the beginning stages of forming ideas.
    2. When I finally get started writing.
    3. After I finish the first draft and go back through it.
    4. I do my best work under pressure, so usually the night before the paper is due.
    5. Once I have found all of my sources and taken notes.

Your Results:

Mostly 1s: Outliner

There are many great qualities to being an outliner: you have enough structure to start your assignment and you have a path for when you’re writing so you can reach your end goal. But don’t limit yourself to your outline! Let yourself unanswered questions - brainstorming conceptexpand during your writing process and get creative. Some of your best ideas could come to light in paragraph three, section A. Allow yourself the room to grow and place some free writing into your style. Also, allow room for revision, even if the revision goes beyond your outline. Let yourself free!

Mostly 2s: Free writer 

You don’t bother wasting time with stuffy proposals or outlines that tie you down. You let your thoughts run wild, and you let your words take you where you need to go. But beware! Oftenfreedomtimes relying entirely on the words that float to mind at any given time can make your paper unorganized. You can also fall into the trap of: So where was I going with that? We’ve all been there! Free writing is a great brainstorming tool, but give yourself something to fall back on when you get lost in your abyss of greatness. Having a path could help you stay focused.

Mostly 3s: Revisionistkeep-calm-and-carry-on-revising-25

You know the best work comes from going back through your jumbled mess of thoughts and sentences and giving them life. You see the pleasures of the red pen, and you don’t worry about the first draft. The most important part is the final product! But be careful that you don’t just rely on your revision process to get you that good grade! Preparing yourself with some research will help strengthen your paper. Also, making sure you have a strong structure in your first draft will help ease the revision process!

Mostly 4s: Procrastinator

ahh-procrastinationYou know the clock ticking down to the deadline is the motivation you need to crank out that paper. Why waste time trying to start sooner when you know you’re going to be staring at the picture of your ex on Facebook more than the Word document? But fear not, just as you dropped your ex, you can drop the rushed lifestyle you’ve been depending on. Believe it or not, it is good for both your sanity and your GPA to do some research, an outline, and actually look at your assignment before the day it’s due. Breaking your writing time into small, designated segments can help you break this last-minute streak. Give yourself an earlier deadline than the one it’s due to try and force yourself to finish it earlier. This will leave you room to revise—and maybe even take it to the Writing Center!

Mostly 5s: Researcher 

You know the best information is already out there on the web to find! You know your way through the databases like a kid in a candy aisle. You spent the most of your time cracking open the books instead of breaking out the keyboard, because you don’t think you will have a strongresearch2 enough argument before you know all the facts. Give yourself a break! During all this research, you need to make sure you give yourself room to formulate your own ideas. Believe it or not, college isn’t about spitting out a bunch of information someone has already come up with; it’s about learning from that information and making your own opinion. Trust yourself. Your ideas matter!

Now that you know what writing style fits you best, it’s time to expand on it! Don’t be afraid to make the outline, or step out of it for that matter. Although it might not seem like it, revision is a huge step in the process. You owe it to yourself to get the best grade possible, and, if you’re honest with yourself, waiting until the clock hits zero to hit send might be an adrenaline rush, but it won’t always do your ideas justice. Take the time to do the research, but don’t leave out what genius can be found by free writing and forming your own ideas.

Don’t be stuck in your old, singular ways. Become Divergent.

(Images from,,,,, and

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