When you have a lot of deadlines close together, the pressure is on to finish all your essays on time. But most students don’t do their best work when time is running out. Even the most diligent student can find themselves getting overwhelmed. You may also have papers to write but need to head off to the part-time job that helps pay for your student accommodation and social life. So when you find yourself short on time, you need to use your time wisely. Here’s how to write an essay in a short space of time:
Working at home can be a problem. When you have your phone at hand, you’ll find yourself checking social media every five minutes, plus you’ll be dashing to the kitchen for snacks, doing your laundry, your housemates will want to chat … in short, there will be 1001 distractions. Instead, head to the library and find a quiet corner where you can work. Switch your phone off, or better still leave it at home.
Look for sample essays
Whatever the title of your paper, there are bound to be dozens of sample essays online. Use them to give you ideas. Be warned though: don’t even think of cutting corners by lifting all or part of the essay and pretending that you wrote it. That’s a sure way to lose marks or even fail the module. What sample essays can do is spark off ideas that you could pursue.
Create an outline
You may well have lots of notes, but still be uncertain how to turn them into a coherent whole. The best way to start is by creating an outline for your paper, and break the structure down into sections. That will give you a framework to work with. Having a number of sections also means that your task seems less daunting, and that you will see progress – this avoids the risk of panicking and freezing up that affects many students with a deadline fast approaching.
Don’t do too much reading
When time is at a premium, you won’t manage to fit in as much reading as you’d like, so don’t try to cover every source on the topic. Also, if you find that some of the books you need are not on the shelf, don’t panic. They may be digitised and available online. If not, look for other useful sources. When you have the books in front of you, use the index to guide you quickly to the relevant pages. When making notes, always jot down the page no and book title, so that you can quickly cite your sources. It’s also useful if you need to check a source again, and will spare you from frantically trying to locate the correct page.
Accept it won’t be perfect
Your essay won’t be perfect. Even if you had a lot more time, it still wouldn’t be. So just try to do the best you can in the time available. Placing too many expectations on yourself will stress you out and won’t improve your paper; if anything, it will make it worse. There aren’t many people who can write fantastic work under pressure – just think of how hard it can be to work under exam conditions, for example.
Get a custom essay
A very handy resource for time-pressed students is to order a custom essay. This is a godsend, as you can even order an essay with just a few hours’ notice. We must stress that such essays are not to be submitted as if they were your own work. Remember that universities and colleges come down very had on any instances of plagiarism. What these essays can do is save you time by suggesting possible angles for you to follow when writing your essay, as well as providing you with a good example of an essay structure. This is particularly useful for anyone who is short on ideas.
Organise your time
Draw up a mini timetable for working on your essay. Say you have four hours to finish it. You could organise the time as follows:
90 mins reading
15 mins outline
60 mins writing the first draft
45 mins revising the draft
15 mins checking
and take a few minutes break in between each stage.