How to Write Your Last-Minute Essay

How to Write Your Last-Minute Essay

You are not reading this article by chance but you are here for a reason—you just looked up “how to write a last-minute essay” and landed yourself here.

You were well aware of the essay that was assigned to you in one of your classes but you’ve been constantly putting it off, saying you still have a lot of days before the deadline. You have stalled yourself so many times until the day—the day before the deadline—came when you realize that nothing really lasts forever and you really have to start writing that essay or else you’d get big fat F or a failing grade.

You think that writing an essay on the eleventh hour is an impossible thing next to the fact that nothing lasts forever. But save the panic, tears, and self-pity parties because, in this article, we got your back in pulling off your last minute essay.

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Before Anything Else…

Here are some things you should do before you start pounding your fingers on the keyboard or scribbling on the paper:

1. Get rid of distractions such as your phone and temporarily block all social media websites on your laptop or desktop computer and everything that hinders you from getting things done.

2. Prepare snacks and drinks so you won’t have any alibis to stand up and intentionally waste precious time.

3. Speaking of alibis, you must head to the bathroom and do what you must do.

4. Do not work your essay on the bed or a giant sofa because the gravity is stronger there a.ka. you might just sleep off your essay and wake up more panicked.

5. Make your working station is complete with all the things you need such as laptop and laptop charger or desktop computer, pencils, pens, papers, sticky notes, notes, reference books, and all other stationery. Clear your working station of distractions and no, you don’t need that stress ball or that fidget spinner.

Timer Starts…

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…NOW

1. Brainstorm and Outline

If you are already assigned to a topic, you can go straight ahead to brainstorming of ideas. Just let your ideas flow on the paper and do not bother categorizing or sorting those, yet. Give yourself a solid 30-minute for the brainstorming before you take another 30-minutes for outlining.

When outlining your essay, it is the time when you would figure out your main and subpoints and making a map of how you will write the parts of your essay. Have at least three main points you can individually discuss in your three-paragraph body later on. With your main points as headers in your outline, list down at least three subpoints under each main point. Narrow down your subpoints so you won’t have to research a lot of terms. Have a separate list of the relevant terms and ideas that you need to research later on. This list will be helpful later on.

2. Research Like Following Your Grocery List

Just like with grocery lists, stick with what’s on your list and try your best not to be tempted to research for other irrelevant ones. Stuffing your essay with a lot of information lengthens the discussion in the body of your essay and remember that you also don’t have the leisure of stuffing most of your eleventh hour with unnecessary researching. Additionally, having a surplus of information will also eat up your time since you still have to sort what information you should actually use.

When looking for quotes, avoid using long ones. Your professor knows this tactic is commonly used by students to lengthen their essay. This also an obvious sign that you have not fully understood your topic enough to defends it with your own words. This tactic can actually save your time but save yourself from the wrath of your professor by avoiding this.

3. Write the Body Paragraphs First

 Remember what people say when taking exams that you have to deal with the easy parts first before the difficult ones? It applies when writing for your last minute essay. Surprisingly, writing for the body part of your essay is the easiest compared to the introduction and the conclusion. Why? Because you are already guided with your outline. Armed with the outline of your essay, you know what exactly you are going to do and to research. Also, writing the introduction and the conclusion would be so much easier because you already have the body to guide you in introducing and summarizing your main points.
Remember to separate your main points in three paragraphs and limit your subpoints in three sentences. Make good use of your outline and religiously follow with it.

4. Proofreading and Editing as You Go Is a Big No-No

Always keep in mind that you do not have a lot of time and that being conscious with that small letter ‘i’ and constantly pounding on that backspace key can actually take up a lot of time. If you are a perfectionist then for the sake of your last minute essay, don’t be. Do not get caught up on changing minor spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. If you ignore them as you construct your sentences, you would have still some time later on in editing your paper in bulk. Meaning, you can efficiently edit your work in one go especially if you are constrained by the time.

5. Avoid the Temptation to Pass through “Shortcuts”

As you type your essay, the thought of copy-pasting some other people’s works online and add it to your essay might be so tempting. You are already pressured to finish your work before the roosters start to crow. But hold yourself; if you also want to avoid any complications resulting from your plagiarism, then don’t cross this ‘shortcut’. If you assume that your professor won’t notice it, you also have to assume that they were not born ages ago or yesterday that they wouldn’t know the existence of online search engines. You were also not born yesterday that you wouldn’t know that dishonesty is bad.