This is probably your first attempt at writing an essay, or you may be a seasoned researcher. Whoever it is, no one has escaped the fear of approaching deadlines to complete that essay you’ve been putting off (read procrastinating!) due to several reasons. Well, writing an essay that is compelling and well-researched can be a daunting task (but trust me when I say, “It’s nothing compared to thesis writing!”). This can be all the more true when you have limited time to craft the essay.
When I was assigned to write an essay in one day, I thought it was impossible. But little did I know, a well-researched topic, clarity on the subject, and a dedicated writing space are all you ideally need. So let’s read on as I share my experience writing an impactful essay under extreme time constraints and some tips to never miss out on.
Here’s How I Wrote My Essay in a Day
I’m not usually the type of person who leaves everything to the last minute, but this time due to some ad-hoc assignments, I had to procrastinate my essay to the last day. Inexperienced, I needed guidance about how to go ahead. Almost panicked and thought I would not be able to until I sat down and planned my way to the essay’s completion first.
I set myself a goal of writing 500 words an hour. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually relatively easy if you focus and get into a rhythm.
I started by brainstorming my topic and making a rough outline of what I wanted to convey. Once I had a good understanding of what I was writing about, I set to work. The first hour flew by, and before I knew it, I had written 1,500 words.
With the bulk of the work done, the rest of the essay came together relatively quickly, and I finished it before long. All in all, it took me just over six hours to write the entire thing from start to finish.
Here’s how I planned my essay!
1- Defining the Purpose of Your Essay
Unlike a thesis, which is a long piece of writing that includes documentation based on your expertise on the topic in question, an essay is typically a short writing piece that contains a thesis statement. In addition, it defines the essay’s main argument or point of view and its supporting points.
The purpose of an essay is to present an argument in support of a particular viewpoint. To do this effectively, an essay must be well-researched, well-organized, and well-written. A systematic, literature-reviewed, and well-written essay will have appropriate references and a clearly defined research rationale.
It should include a clear introduction that introduces the main argument, and each subsequent paragraph will build on this argument by providing supporting evidence. Furthermore, a well-written essay will be free of grammatical and stylistic errors.
2- Never Miss the Three Elements
One of the reasons academic writing differs from creative writing is its predefined standards for writing every piece of academic content. As there’s a typical structural flow for writing a thesis, there is one for writing an essay as well.
There are three main elements that every essay must have: an introduction or thesis statement, a body (including 2-3 paragraphs), and a conclusion. Each of these sections serves a specific purpose; if one is missed, it can make or break your essay.
- Introducing Your Viewpoints with a Clear Thesis Statement
It is where you will grab your reader’s attention and give them an overview of your paper. A clear and concise thesis statement lays the foundation of your entire paper, so it is essential that it is well-written and easy to understand.
As the thesis statement is the main idea or argument that will be presented in an essay, it should be specific and direct the reader to what they can expect from the rest of the essay. A good thesis statement will be arguable and give the reader a sense of direction for the essay.
- Body of the Essay
Paragraph 1: Providing Evidence to Support Your Thesis
Without this, your argument will fall flat! The body of your essay is where you make your argument and support your thesis.
To write a strong body paragraph, start with a topic sentence that states the main point of your paragraph. Then, provide evidence in the form of quotes, statistics, or real-world examples to support your point. Finally, conclude your paragraph with a sentence that summarizes your argument and leaves readers with something to think about.
Paragraph 2: Developing More Ideas
The second body paragraph of your essay should continue developing the ideas introduced in the first paragraph while providing new information supporting your thesis statement.
To do this effectively, start by narrowing your focus to a specific aspect of your topic. Then, provide several concrete examples or pieces of evidence to support your point. Finally, explain how these examples tie back to your overall argument. By following this structure, you can ensure that each body paragraph works to build upon and reinforce your essay’s central claim.
Paragraph 3: Addressing the Main Point
Begin this paragraph with a topic sentence that restates the key point of your essay. This paragraph should provide support for your topic sentence through the use of evidence from your research.
Be sure to cite any sources you use, preferably in APA format, unless mentioned otherwise. Conclude this paragraph with a sentence that ties back into your introduction and leaves the reader with a final thought to consider.
- End with a Strong Conclusion
Concluding your essay is your golden opportunity to make a good and lasting impression on your reader. Make sure to summarize your points and leave the readers with something to think about. The conclusion should tie everything together and still keep the reader’s thinking hat on.
So if you’re facing a tight deadline, don’t panic! It is possible to write a great essay in a short time by following the aforementioned steps and not missing out on any of the elements. Ensure you have a clear plan before you start writing, and stay focused throughout. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in just one day!