Solutions for fast college essay writing
With all the tests and examinations that an average student has to do in their life chances are you have already encountered an exam with a timed essay (SATs, GPE, you name it), where you have to provide a coherent paper within a limited period of time, sometimes no longer than 30 minutes. Writing an assignment, I’ll wager, is a stress in itself, and having a tight deadline to do so doesn’t make it any easier.
However, some people, namely those majoring in journalism, English or almost any humanitarian science, have to hand in essays on a daily basis. While you do get the hang of speed paper writing after some time, getting to do that for the first few (hundred) times might be challenging.
Finally, of course, there is the good old procrastination. Of course, you should have started that written assignment ages ago. Of course, you didn’t. We don’t blame you; it’s sometimes hard to concentrate on academic performance with, you know, life getting in the way. However, that dreaded essay has to be written no matter what. Some might choose to outsource it, which is, again, a viable option, provided that you have the money, of course.
If it’s not about you, hear us out: for all these cases there is a solution, a scheme suitable for almost any situation, be it a five paragraph essay, an opinion essay, a 3000-word essay, whatever.
For timed exams, you might have to practice it with a clock first. There’s a high chance that the number of words in your essay is limited. Hence you won’t need some of the advice. It won’t hurt learning about some tricks, anyway.
Have you eaten your healthy breakfast today? If the answer is no, please, do it. It’s no use trying to produce quality content when all you can think about is your rumbling stomach, especially if you are running against the clock. Bear in mind that junk food and sweets won’t do; you’ll feel sluggish after some time, so pick up some healthy options like muesli or porridge.
Have you scheduled your breaks? Working non-stop will reduce your productivity. On average, it’s recommended to take a break for 10 minutes after every 1,5 hour.
Don’t browse your social networks in the meantime; your eyes are tired as it is and besides, it’s simple to get distracted and lose the valuable time. Do something entirely different to unwind a bit: walk your dog, take out the trash, dance to the radio.
Preparation, planning, essay outline, sketch, prompt – whatever you call it, this step is crucial. Even if you have a 30 minutes limit, spend 10 minutes creating a roadmap for your essay. It seems like a lot of time, but it will, in fact, help you, because with a set structure you won’t need to rewrite or restructure anything later.
You have some more time, and you have Google to boot, isn’t that great? Yeah, but you should use the outline anyway. An organised essay always wins, especially when you’re trying to beat the clock.
Do you understand the topic? Read it, reread it, study it carefully. One read-through most likely won’t be enough. There’s nothing worse than realising, halfway into your essay, that you have gone off the topic. You’re lucky if you have the time to fix it, so make sure you understand your objective before you start writing.
Brainstorm the topic. Write everything down, no matter how irrelevant the idea seems. You will weed out the useless ones later.
If you have time and access to the Internet, look up everything that has to do with the topic. Again, don’t dismiss the seemingly unusual pieces of information. I’d recommend copying and pasting it all into a single document so that you don’t miss anything when you need it. This is also the part where you should cite your sources. It will save you a lot of trouble later. Google Scholar is a perfect tool for that.
Remember, a line longer than five words that is not produced by you should be accordingly cited. Otherwise, it’s called plagiarism.
Making your outline shouldn’t take a lot, and it doesn’t have to be very detailed.
This is the first part that your reader will see (duh), so let’s make it captivating.
A hook is a phrase that will grab your reader’s attention. There are several ways to do that:
a brief anecdote that carries moral, a lesson to learn;
a provocative quotation;
a rhetorical, thought-provoking question;
an unexpected example.
All of these, of course, should be relevant to the topic.
These are just some of the ways to engage your reader and let them know that this is not your usual bland essay!
A thesis statement is your stance, your opinion on the matter. Even though the thesis usually comes at the end of the first paragraph, this is, arguably, the most crucial part of the essay.
A strong thesis fits the following criteria:
it answers the question presented in the topic;
it is speculative; there’s no use writing an essay about something everyone agrees upon;
it is clear and specific;
it is not too general: you’re on a tight schedule after all;
it engages the reader;
it distinctly illustrates your position.
Next comes the body of your essay. For timed papers usually the required format is the five paragraph essay, so the body of your work is three paragraphs supporting your thesis. Every paragraph contains an argument and the evidence backing it up. Every institution and every branch of science has different criteria for acceptable evidence, so it’s a good idea to look and the arguments and proof mentioned by your professor or in your textbook.
Using objections is a way to strengthen your argument. It shows that you:
have done your research and studied the problem in depth;
understand that some people might disagree with your opinion;
by refuting objections, can talk people into accepting your evidence.
Using counterarguments is strongly recommended if the format of your essay allows that.
Here you briefly summarise your thoughts on the matter. Essentially you hardly say anything new, and one way to deal with this part is just to restate your thesis.
Proofreading and polishing
Set out some time to proofread your essay. If you’re sitting for an exam, try to mouth it as if you’re reading aloud. A good way to check for typos is to try and read it backwards: this way you will pay attention to words, not the meaning.
If you’re writing your essay at home, the best method of proofreading is to ask someone to take a look at your paper, even your parents or friends. If there’s no such opportunity, take a breather and proofread it yourself. The best option is to sleep at least half an hour before proofreading because sleep recharges your tired mind.
Check out the following:
did you cite all your quotes correctly?
are there any inconsistencies in your reasoning?
do all the arguments fit your goals of supporting your thesis?
After rereading your essay (at least twice) and refining your writing your hard work is over! Hand in your essay confidently and make sure to use this prompt in the future.