College years are often one of the busiest periods in our lives. Students’ days are filled with lectures, exam preparations as well as meetings at clubs and societies. Besides, we also try to combine studies with part-time work and leisure activities.
With such a hectic lifestyle it may be hard to keep up with loads of assignments. Sometimes, we can even forget about the deadlines and find ourselves panicking. But here’s some good news for you. We’ve created a step-by-step guide in case you forgot about an essay due. Follow these tips to finish your paper in a blink of an eye.
Organize your workplace
First of all, it is important to make sure that nothing distracts you from writing. Don’t forget to turn off the notifications on your phone, or you can use some blocker apps. Make sure you have everything you need at hand (paper and pen, computer, a cup of coffee or water).
If you prefer to work in silence, it’s best to head to the library. If background noise helps you to concentrate – turn on some Lo-Fi beats or go to a café.
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Understand the topic
Some professors give students a chance to choose a topic of the future essay themselves. Of course, it will be easier to write about something that you are well versed in. Besides, this way, you can save some time since you won’t have to conduct extensive research on the topic. It will definitely speed up your work.
Each essay type has a specific goal – make sure you understand it. Here are some of the most popular types that you might be working on:
- In a comparative essay, you will analyze the similarities and differences between two things like ideas, people, events, places, works of art, etc.;
- Students provide evidence and examples to convince the reader of their point of view in a persuasive essay;
- A narrative essay requires you to tell a story – it might be personal, anecdotal, or experience-based.
Structure your work
Once you understand the topic and analyze it, you can come up with your main thesis. A thesis is a key part of your essay – it tells the reader what you will be arguing for. In other words, it clearly explains the idea you are trying to convey. Without a strong precise thesis, your essay will be vague.
When your thesis is ready, make a short list of the points of your essay. One or two sentences or even a few words briefly describing each point will be enough. Use examples and evidence to support each of them.
Here is what a typical essay plan looks like:
- Introduction and thesis statement;
- Argument 1 with supporting examples (real-life situations, scientific evidence, facts, etc.);
- Argument 2 with supporting examples;
- Argument 3 with supporting examples;
- Conclusion (restate thesis).
Think about how much time you have to write an essay, and make a plan with that in mind. Decide how much time you can dedicate to each stage of your work. A detailed plan allows you to stick to strict limits during the whole process.
Pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses. Thus, if you are good at doing research, spend more time on other tasks, for example, editing or proofreading.
Collect the information
Trustworthy sources will be the basis of your essay. Since you have a limited amount of time, focus on two or three books or magazines, articles, etc. Make sure the sources you are using are reliable – turn to expert publications, governmental and educational websites, or professional societies.
You should definitely visit such platforms as Google Scholar and ResearchGate. These tools allow you to hunt for abstracts and theses from academic publishers as well as peer-reviewed papers.
Write down or copy the names of the sources you intend to use. This is essential if you are going to quote verbatim. It also makes it easier for you to draw up footnotes and bibliography without having to re-examine the sources once more.
Come up with a catchy first sentence – it should captivate the reader. It can be a question or a quote, a fact, a story, or a humorous sketch. If you can’t write an introduction right away – don’t worry. You can always go back to it when the draft is ready.
Each paragraph should contain a sentence that briefly explains the main idea you wish to convey in this part. Give clear reasons for your opinions and viewpoints. Remember: if you don’t provide arguments, your work won’t be convincing. Use transition words – they will help the text read more logically and consistently.
Consider possible counter-arguments if you are working on an argumentative essay. It is necessary to include them in your work and disprove them with powerful evidence.
The key points are usually repeated in the conclusion. End your work with a meaningful phrase. It should be formulated so that the reader will remember it clearly.
If you intend to use information from various sources or someone else’s ideas, you must provide a link to them. Of course, there are different citation styles, so, pay attention to your professor’s instructions.
Don’t forget to reread the text – you have to free it from:
- unnecessary information;
- spelling or grammar mistakes, and typos;
- inappropriate tone (like slang).
Turn to Grammarly to save time on editing and proofreading. This service quickly finds errors in your text and offers suggestions for improving it. Grammarly provides tips on the paper’s correctness, clarity, and style.
To wrap it up
Even if you are limited in time, you need to make sure that arguments support your thesis perfectly. Make sure each paragraph logically follows the previous one. The reader should understand the sequence of your arguments and the logical evolution of your idea.
Don’t hand in your essay without a conclusion – it has to summarize all your arguments. Even if the essay is short, it won’t be complete without the final words.
Story by Jessie Clark. Clark writes about design, education, and marketing for https://essaywritingservice.com, a popular essay writing service. She is also an artist herself, using her passion as an opportunity to learn about the new trends and educate others.