Having just submitted all my assignments, I feel like I’ve learnt an awful lot about efficient essay writing. You’ve spent half of your Christmas break staring at blank Word documents and doing your best Ross Geller impression, then suddenly you’ve got thousands of words to write and not very long to write them in.
So – in the interest of efficiency – let’s keep this short and sweet. (And, let’s be honest, if you’re reading this in the middle of January deadlines, short and sweet is probably all you have time for…)
Here are my top five tips for a smooth essay writing process:
- Start working in the morning. You tell yourself you’ll start writing in the afternoon, and suddenly afternoon is evening. By that point, you might as well start tomorrow, right? Wrong. Start as early in the day as you can.
- Prepare. By prepare, I mean gather. Quotations, secondary reading, page numbers, the lot. If you’ve got them to hand from the off, you won’t waste time searching for them later.
- Always plan… Although it might be tempting, writing without a plan leaves you without a sense of where your argument is headed. By outlining what you want to say, your response will be much tighter.
- …But plan in stages. If you’re like me, then you find nothing more daunting than an empty page. Take your paragraphs one at a time and alternate with planning and writing: plan one, write one, and then plan the next. Make sure to note down point headers to keep your response seamless.
- Reference as you write. The last thing you want is to finish your essay and realise you haven’t finished at all. Your future self will thank you.
Happy writing! (And don’t forget to proofread!)