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How To Write Essays More Quickly

How to write essays more quickly

You've run out of time. You've procrastinated as long as you can, and now you have 30 minutes to email an essay to your professor – an essay you haven't even started yet! The important thing is not to panic. Take a deep breath. Here's how to do it.

Get ready to write

Before you start writing, make sure you're ready to write. You need to get rid of distractions – turn off or mute your phone and TV. Shut down what browser windows or tabs you can. Obviously, if you're referring to research that you've done or some written materials, you're still going to need to keep a few things open. Now's not the time to have Reddit handy, though.

Create an outline

The next step is planning. Spend 5-10 minutes planning your essay. Create an outline; this may seem like it takes up a lot of time that could be spent writing, but it will make it a lot easier to write the essay. An outline will help you organize your thoughts. A good outline will also have the points you want to make in the essay, and the evidence to support them. An outline helps you clear your mind so that you can just write. You don't have to think while you're writing about what comes next.

How to spend your writing time

There are several different types of essays, but most of them share a common structure – they have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

You might think that you should begin at the beginning, and write the introduction, but it's actually easier and faster if you write the body first. The body is the main part of the essay. It contains all of the important parts of your essay – your evidence, arguments, claims, and analysis.

Another reason to write the body first is that it's actually easier than writing the introduction and conclusion. It might not seem that way, since it's more than twice the size of the introduction and conclusion together. But the introduction and conclusion are harder because they have to be more persuasive. The introduction, in particular, needs to capture the reader's attention. Another reason for saving the introduction and conclusion for last is that they're a lot easier to write when you know what arguments you're trying to make and what evidence you have.

Edit

You're not done yet! You need to edit your essay. After all, you wrote it quickly. The chances of having typos and grammatical errors are pretty good. This step shouldn't take very long, but it's absolutely necessary. Read your essay carefully and fix those errors. Look at the wording you used. Is there a way you could be more concise or descriptive? Make sure that your explanations make sense. Your essay also needs to "flow", in other words move smoothly from one paragraph to the next. If you have time, have someone else read it to make sure that it's clear.

So start writing! You'll be done sooner than you think.

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