There’s nothing like a looming essay deadline to get you tidying up your room like never before, going to the gym or watching one more box set. In other words, getting on with anything but the essay.
Don’t worry we have all been there. With these easy-to-follow tips you will feel back in control in no time and will soon be falling in love with your degree subject again.
Getting mentally ready
It is often the negative chatter in our head which makes us unwilling to try. Shake off this defeatist talk by taking a quick shower and then prepare the space where you are going to write: have everything you need around you such as books, articles, water, highlighter pen and pens. Put your mobile phone — and the temptation to look at Facebook — out of reach.
Sit down and ask yourself ‘what is it about this assignment question that interests me?’. You can write down a few thoughts. If you really can’t think of an answer come up with reasons why this topic might be important for your course in general or later career. In other words, focus on conjuring up your thoughts, feelings and opinions as a way into the writing.
Obvious but worth saying – mark in your diary/online calendar all the due dates for assignments this semester. Also note which ones carry more marks and be sure to apportion more time for researching and writing these.
Knowing the deadline is one thing; allowing time before the deadline for checking and printing is another. Ensure you have at least 24 hours to read through it. Often it is better to step back from it and pick it up after a short break to spot where things need tweaking. If it is an online submission do not leave it to the last 11th hour to send it. Computers and the internet have been known to fail!
You may already have a reading system in place. A smart one, though, helps you organise and recall information easily once you have read an article. The best way to engage with the material is by annotating the text as you read such as making own notes/links in the margins. It is also worth highlighting key sentences and choice quotes which you can add into your essay to back up your view. When you finish the article it is a great idea to write a summary of it on a postcard. In that way, when it comes to the writing stage of your essay you do not have to wade through pages and pages to find a quote you vaguely remember from six hours ago.
Writing – the essay plan
Before writing the draft you need to write your essay plan. Believe it or not you can have in place a rough structure of your assignment before reading the required articles. Essay questions fall into predictable types. Notably, an ‘advantages and disadvantages’ type essay will require you to have at least two or three points to cover both sides of the topic followed by a paragraph in which you weigh up all the arguments touched upon. Similarly, a ‘to what extent’ question type would be structured with your first few paragraphs showing how you agree with the thesis statement, backed up by authors you’ve read. This is followed by two or three paragraphs indicating why you don’t agree.
Once you have a plan of what each paragraph will cover allocate time that you have available. Be realistic and precise. Some people prefer targets described as word counts, say 1000 words a day. Or others prefer the approach of assigning topics/paragraphs to time. Keep it small and work when you feel the most energetic.
Remember to build time out into your schedule. You need it to clear your head and see where you’re at. Also going back to a piece of writing gives you a sharper perspective. We are motivated by rewards so use the time off to do something more enjoyable but only if you are hitting your word or paragraph count for the day.
Let the writing begin
Now comes the dreaded sit down and write it stage. BUT if you have been keeping good notes, summarised the key ideas and have a draft plan, then you should be looking forward to starting. Remind yourself how good you’ll feel once you’ve achieved your daily target. And remember – everything big began with a small step.
Do not start with the introduction. That may sound counter-intuitive but it is easier to write the introduction after you’ve written the body as the introduction signposts the reader what the essay is going to cover. The conclusion need not be too time-consuming as it is a reiteration of the main points that you made so make sure nothing new is introduced at this stage.
The very word can send shudders down any student’s spine. Now with automated referencing systems, however, the agony has been taken away. Explore some of the options which make referencing quick and straight forward such as the ACAD WRITE Citation Generator.
We all suffer from it from time to time. Write through it. Time yourself to write for 10 minutes without stopping. You can even type that you are not sure what you are writing about but keep writing as something will come. Pick one quote from your cards and write whatever comes to mind about that.
Of course, if it is exhaustion that is stopping you from writing a good rest and time out is vital. If, it is the lack of ideas or unclear, it is better to push through it.
And if you really do not have the time to write your assignment you can always call upon the trusted services of customized essay writing by ACAD WRITE. Working with a team of highly experienced academic writers, ACAD WRITE can provide you with a unique, high quality assignment that meets your requirements. Read more about how ACAD WRITE ensures anonymity and quality.
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