If you’re a student, you know how hectic academic life is. With numerous classes, midterms, and finals, it’s challenging to keep up with the rhythm. And when home assignments add up, you can hardly think about anything but books and other study materials.
Essay writing is common in college. Instructors often assign essays to students for several reasons:
- It is a simple way to evaluate whether a student did their homework.
- It shows how a learner progresses within a school year.
- Through writing essays, students develop their decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
And while the benefits of essay writing seem inevitable, pitfalls are also worth mentioning. Since students have a lot on their shoulders, they always lack time to approach each and every task thoughtfully. Professional writers from this website have put together a list of practical tips to help any student write an effective essay fast.
1. Find your sources
Authoritative sources are core in any academic essay. Writers have to rely on credible information and explain the source’s relevance. Before delving into writing an essay, make sure to research the area and find scholarly materials. Pay close attention to the requirements; your teacher should indicate the number of sources you have to include in your work. If you do not know the number, a rule of thumb would be one source per academic page.
Also, remember to check if the sources are reliable and updated. Usually, textbooks and articles are considered trustworthy and updated if published within the last five years by such publishing houses as Sage Publications, Chicago University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and alike.
Upon finding sources and evaluating their relevance to the topic, check appropriate chapters and highlight what you think might be helpful. You can also note down page numbers. It will help you get back to sections and switch between them quickly.
2. Brainstorm ideas and generate a thesis
Every essay must carry an idea. Without it, the paper is doomed to fail. You want your writing to be outstanding and peerless, don’t you? But again, you don’t have enough time to mull over unusual concepts, right? Don’t worry. You can still produce a top-notch piece speedily.
By employing brainstorming techniques, you will generate thought-provoking ideas within a short period. But first, you should learn and understand the essay’s question.
See, every prompt requires taking a specific action. The latter entirely depends on the verb included in the topic. For instance, the prompt can ask you to analyze, criticize, compare and contrast, describe, argue, explain, and so on. Once you find such keywords and fully understand your task, you can develop ideas for your thesis statement.
Brainstorming has different methods, so it is up to you which one to use. For us, listing and mind mapping are best. They help enumerate and visualize concepts and find the most worthwhile arguments to include in an essay. But you can also try utilizing freewriting, clustering, rapid ideation, figure storming, etc.
3. Compose an outline
Of all underestimated writing strategies, an outline tends to be the biggest underdog. Students often neglect to outline their papers. And we get it. It is rarely a mandatory element. Besides, students assume writing an outline takes extra time, which they obviously don’t have.
In reality, though, an outline is a real game-changer. Not only does it reduce the time working on the entire paper, but it also increases its quality. Even more, it prevents you from adding any unnecessary information. Thanks to an outline, you don’t load your readers with useless facts they don’t need to know about.
Outlining an essay is effortless. If you don’t have to submit it along with the paper, create a bullet point list of critical thoughts that must be included in an essay. And then stick to them. Simple as that!
4. Ensure the appropriate writing environment
It might be a nerve-racking tip, but setting a workspace is essential. You can’t be productive if you are constantly bombarded with notifications, memes, and calls. Our attention span lasts around 20 minutes. And whenever we get distracted, we need lots of time to restore our workflow. Since you are short on time, here is the best workaround.
First off, download your sources and make them available offline. Next, ensure there is some water and snacks in front of you. This way, you won’t need to leave your place. Last, leave your phone aside or turn the Internet connection off. Now you are all set and are ready to kick off.
5. Draft your work
The first thing you want to start with is drafting the essay. This way, you will create a backbone for your final work. Furthermore, a draft is crucial because it helps you see your essay’s merits and demerits and what it might look like in the long run.
Forget about various errors when drafting an essay. Your task, for now, is to produce the first version quickly. Only after that can you proceed to polish it to a shimmering brilliance. Nonetheless, make sure your first version has:
- A clear introduction, including an opening sentence, background information, and a thesis statement;
- A coherent body part, comprising a topic sentence, evidence and explanation, and conclusion;
- An informative conclusion with a thesis reiteration, recapitulation of key information, and a call to action.
6. Reapproach your work and edit it thoroughly
Once you draft your work, don’t forget to take a time-out. Regardless of how much time you have, refreshing your brain is vital.
Editing might be demanding, so additional tools can come in handy. Drag your text into Grammarly and correct mistakes thoughtfully. Double-check whether polished sentences carry the same meaning.
When you deal with grammar, punctuation, and lexis, move to semantics. Read your text aloud and check its coherence. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do the body part and conclusion correspond with the thesis statement?
- Is the topic fully revealed?
- Is the language clear and appropriate?
Ultimately, analyze your citations. Do they pertain to the formatting style you follow? Was the page with the references created correctly? If you are unsure whether your citations are proper, double-check them by using citation generators.
Additionally, you might ask your friends to take a glimpse over your essay. A fresh set of eyes can spot hidden mistakes and help you perfect the paper.
Although essay writing is an everyday routine for students, it isn’t the most straightforward task. Learners report having difficulties creating papers because of a chronic lack of time. Indeed, many students strive to obtain the ability to write essays quickly. We encourage you to follow the mentioned tips. They will accelerate your writing and help you compose any paper effectively and promptly!