Updated on April 16th, 2019
There will always be times when you have to write an essay quickly – be it a tight deadline or a timed exam such as the SAT.
You can find many general essay writing tips online. However, in this post, we will focus onthose foreffective writing under time pressure.
1. Plan Your Time
Assess the time you have and plan it. For example, you have an hour to write your essay. Set aside 20 minutes for outlining, 30 minutes for actual writing, and 10 minutes for revising your essay. If you have less or more time, adjust the distribution accordingly.
The rule of thumb is to allot half of the time to structuring and revision and another half to shaping the body of the essay. Always remember to set aside the time for revision – many student neglect this important stage.
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2. Choose The Right Topic
To write coherently, you must have a clear idea about the topic so it is crucial to choose the right one. It should be something you can write about without researching too much. If the topic is already provided, then you should determine the type of essay you can write on it.
Can you write an in-depth analysis of some particular aspect or are you only capable of giving the general scope? Whatever your answer is, make sure that you are ready to write it from the head, without losing time on researching and reading about the matter.
3. Prepare The Outline
No matter how much time you spend thinking, it will be useless if you can’t organize your thoughts into a logical argument. Therefore, you will need structure to ensure thatyour statements follow each other in a natural flow and you do not lose time rambling.
You can start out by writing the topic of your paper at the top of the page. Underneath it, jots down the smaller points and ideas, thus shaping the direction your argument will take. Some students do not outline their essays because they think it’s a waste of time.
Think of it instead as of investment of your time. The outline will serve you as a roadmap and will speed up the actual writing.
4. Write Your Thesis Statement
Once you’ve chosen the topic and prepared the outline, you should start writing the thesis statement. Usually, the thesis statement consists of one or two sentences that explain the main point of your essay and give a brief overview of the argument you will present to support it. Keep it focused. A good thesis statement will give your essay its basis, helping you to build on, quickly and logically.
5. Write The Body Of The Essay
The body is the main part of your essay, where you explore your topic in detail. Each idea that you have put in the outline you shouldexplain in aseparate paragraph of the body. Keep your paragraphsuniform. Put main idea into the introductory sentence of each paragraph. The following sentences should be supporting this idea by giving facts and pieces of evidence.Writing in this systematic manner saves much time.
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6. Write An Introduction
It makes sense to write the body of your essay first,and only then return to the introduction. This way you will be able to tweak and deepen your working thesis statement to make it more detailed and fitting the argument. You can also tease some interesting facts and quotes from the essay to grab the attention of your readers. This will save time and on top of that, you will have a greatintroduction that is interesting to read.
7. Write Abrief Conclusion
The conclusion is the last opportunity to impress your readers, so make it vivid and keep it brief. You should probably write four to five sentences, no more. In this part of your essay, you summarize the argument and draw the final line by stating your opinion. Do not add any new information here. You can only restate and reinforce the argument already given in the body.
8. Review Your Essay
As we already mentioned, you should always leave some time for reviewing your essay.Use it to edit, proofread, and correct any typos, spelling, and grammar mistakesyou’ve probably made.
You can use these strategies to write any paper, but they work best for the short argumentative essays that you must write very fast.