When it comes to essay writing, some students seem to be just naturally cut out for this sort of assignments: when they are assigned such a task, they simply sit down, and voila, in an hour or two it is all done and ready. Meanwhile, their less talented classmates spend hours upon hours suffering the real anguish of trying to write anything, worrying about the outcome. Finally, they submit a forced, clumsy, poorly worded paper.
Well, let us assure you: it has very little to do with talent and a whole lot with your formed writing habits, practices and tricks you’ve learned along the way. Anybody can learn how to finish an urgent essay in 1 hour and do an excellent job of it. So let’s get started to show how it is possible to do.
How to Finish an Essay in an Hour: Useful Tips
#1 Make Sure You Understand the Question
It may sound obvious, but before you start writing, you should take a quick look at your question or prompt and ask yourself whether you are sure you get it right. Often it happens that a student, who is in a hurry, just glances at the prompt, gets the gist of it and immediately plunges into writing – only an hour later he discovers that he missed some little detail that makes all the work he has done completely irrelevant.
#2 Define Your Point
Any essay is written to defend or prove a point. Make sure you clearly understand what yours is before you start working, otherwise, your paper is going to be fuzzy and vague. If you aren’t well-versed on the topic, think back to everything you know about it and try to choose something you are sure you will be able to write about – you don’t want to find out that you have nothing to back you up after you’ve written a page or two.
#3 Plan Beforehand
It may take you a couple of extra minutes to jot down a basic plan of your essay, but don’t consider this time lost. Decide beforehand what you are going to write in each part of the paper, what points will be your main and supporting ones, how you are going to logically connect body paragraphs and so on. Thus, you:
- won’t forget to mention a crucial fact when it is most appropriate,
- won’t have to stop ever so often to collect your thoughts and decide what you are going to write next – you will simply follow the plan.
In the long run, planning will save your time, not waste it. If you are fuzzy on the details, use “A Short Guide to Essay Planning and Structure” provided by the University of Birmingham until you get the hang of it.
#4 Use Simple Language
People tend to use big words in order to make their writing look deeper and more serious, especially when they feel insecure about their knowledge on the subject. Don’t fall into this trap. Firstly, verbosity and tendency to use long words, complex sentences and structures make your writing look silly, not more refined. Secondly, all this extra padding takes longer to write, and your job is to cut this time.
#5 Set aside Some Time for Proofreading
Again, it may seem that minutes spent on proofreading can be better applied for doing actual writing. Don’t be tempted to write essays without proofreading even if you are bone-tired and are ready to just say “I’ve wasted enough of my life on this thing”. Last-minute check can detect a nasty mistake, a missed quotation or a serious formatting screw-up. Ideally, you should do your proofreading at least one day after finishing your paper, but if you have to hurry, do it whenever possible. Better yet, ask a person you trust to do it for you.
How to Finish an Essay Quickly when You Are Stuck
Let us take into account another situation: you’ve been writing for quite a while, and at first, things went smoothly, but now you’ve arrived at the final part of your essay and have no idea how to finish it. Perhaps you are too tired to think clearly, perhaps, you haven’t thought it through well enough, and now have trouble connecting the dots. Here are some things you can do:
|What to Do||Why It Helps|
|Look through what you’ve already written and ask yourself: what does it all amount to?||This is exactly what your reader is going to ask, and your concluding passage should provide a viable answer to it. By asking yourself this question, you will not only generate a helpful hint on how to finish your paper but also evaluate your reasoning up to that point.|
|Connect conclusion with the introduction||Your conclusion should logically follow from the question/issue you’ve started with. You may reiterate a word or sentence you used in the beginning and discuss whether you initial thoughts on the subject were proved or disproved.|
|Reiterate the main points of your essay||You may simply sum up what you’ve found or established in the course of writing. Don’t just repeat every idea word for word but do it in a condensed form – think it as a way to tell somebody who didn’t read the body of the essay what you’ve found out.|
|Study from someone else’s experience||Find an example of a strong, effective essay ending and take some time to see what makes it tick. Then reverse-engineer it for your own topic.|
|Quote one of your sources||This can serve as a powerful supporting argument in favor of your point of view or just some food for thought if you want the reader to make his own conclusions and decide for himself whether you’ve managed to prove your viewpoint.|
|Ask a rhetorical question||Instead of finishing with a statement, try bringing the discussion to the reader. After everything you’ve written on the subject, isn’t it already obvious that the point of view you supported has been sufficiently proved? Ask this of the readers in a roundabout form.|
Writing an Essay Quickly Is a Matter of Technique and Practice
Of course, talent plays an important role in one’s ability to do high-quality academic writing, but even without any writing aptitude, you can level up the writing skills by learning certain techniques, methods and tricks and carefully applying them. We hope the ones mentioned here will help you deal with the next writing assignment you get!