How to Write a Great Essay in a Hurry – A Guide for Procrastinators
Photo by bettkaa
We have all been there. We need to write an essay, but we keep putting it off and putting it off. Eventually, we have put it off for so long that the deadline has quickly approached, and we need to write an essay in a very short amount of time.
If you do not care about the outcome or grade of your essay, you can slap some words on the paper and call it a day. But if you want to produce a great essay, and you don’t have a ton of time, here are a few tips to help simplify and speed up the process.
1. Pick a Topic
The topic is the main focus of your essay. If you don’t have a topic, it is going to be extremely difficult to write. In some cases, your topic may have been chosen for you. This can help save you precious time deciding what to write, but if you don’t know much about it, you may need to spend more time doing some research.
If you get to choose the topic, it is a very smart idea to choose a topic you already know something about. This way, your knowledge can weigh in throughout your essay and you can minimize the time needed for research.
2. Write a Strong Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a summarized sentence that describes what your essay is going to be about. A strong, through and detailed thesis statement will help keep your essay focused. This way, you can determine what information is relevant to your argument and not waste time researching information that isn’t.
Successful essays need to include documented facts, so unless you literally know everything there is to know about your topic, you will need to spend some time researching. This does not have to be as time consuming as you think. Since you already created a strong thesis statement, you already know what type of information you are looking for to support your argument. If you are using the Internet, use specific keywords to generate content on your topic. If you are using books, use the index to try and locate the specific information you need. By already knowing your topic and the focus of your essay, you can easily reduce the amount of time spent researching.
During research, it is important to notate where you received your information. If you are using books, use sticky notes to denote the pages where the information was found. If you are using the Internet, create a Word document and compile a list of article names, dates, web addresses and authors. Doing this while researching will save you from having to go back at the end and try to relocate everything to cite your sources.
4. Create an Outline
Chances are, teachers throughout your education have been telling you about the importance of creating an outline, and they are right. Try to think of three to five (or more, if necessary) points that support your thesis statement. Then, think of three to five ideas to support each main point. This can include statistics, facts or other information you came across. Since you did your research, take the information you found and separate them into main points and use other information to support those
5. Start Writing
Once you have your outline complete, writing will be much easier. Turn your bullet point outline into full sentences. You will be amazed at how a few notes can help you create a paragraph or more of information. Make sure to use your supporting points to back up each main point.
6. Use Citations
Great essays contain facts. One surefire way to fail your essay is to pass other people’s work off as your own, which is why it is extremely important to cite the sources for your facts. Using footers is a great way to cite your sources without cluttering your essay. And since you already cited your sources during the research phase, doing this in your essay will only take a matter of
As with any other work, a great essay is one that has been proofed and edited. After you have finished writing your essay, spend some time to proofread it. Correct any misspellings or improper grammar, and make sure that each sentence supports your thesis
It is also a good idea to read your body copy separately. Read each main point and then read all the supporting points. If something doesn’t make sense, or if a point doesn’t really support your essay’s focus, you need to rework it.
We have all procrastinated at one time or another in our lives, but our work doesn’t have to suffer because of it. If you use the following tips to write your essay, you will realize that a great essay does not have to take days to accomplish.
Patrick Harding is a student at the University of Miami who is looking to graduate with a journalism degree. He maintains a high standard of writing and instantly proofs his essays and assignments using a grammar checker. He also often takes advantage of Miami commercial printing