3 Last Minute Essay Boosting Tips - AdelaminInfo

3 Last Minute Essay Boosting Tips

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How to Write a Last Minute Essay

Five Parts: Creating the Right Environment Prewriting Crafting a Strong Thesis Writing the First Draft Reviewing Your Work Community Q&A

Although it’s much easier to write an essay well ahead of when it’s due, many of us leave essays until the last minute, at least once in a while. If you find yourself in this all-too-common situation, stay positive and don’t panic – it’s possible to write a good essay, even when time is short.


Part 1

Creating the Right Environment

  1. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 1

    Remove or minimize distractions in your workspace. These may include other people, noise, television, music, your phone, and the internet.

    • Temporarily block websites that you know might distract you, such as social media websites and apps.
    • Some people prefer to use earplugs to block or reduce out any ambient noise.
    • Let others around you know that you have to work on an assignment and would appreciate not being disturbed.
    • Call off anything you’d plan to do otherwise. Explain that you have a last minute essay to finish. Be persistent if people try to pull you away from your work: “I’d go out if I could, but I have to finish this essay. Maybe tomorrow?”
  2. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 2

    Prepare your workspace for writing. Wherever you are working to write the essay, make sure it is clear of clutter and is comfortable. Just don’t take things too far. You’re trying to make your workspace conducive to writing, but if you find yourself trying to deep clean your entire house before you write your essay, you’re probably just procrastinating. [1]
  3. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 3

    Gather whatever materials you will need to write the essay. This includes any textbooks, notes, articles, research, etc., as well as your computer and/or writing utensils.

    • If you have any other things that help you write, like snacks or coffee, have those easily available as well. You’ll need to stay energized and comfortable throughout the writing process.
  4. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 4

    Take a deep breath. Once you have everything you need to start writing, take a moment to focus before you begin. Breathe in, and try to focus your mind on the essay you are about to write. Motivate yourself by thinking about how you are now ready to tackle the task of writing, rather than stressing about how you don’t have enough time: “I can do this. I’ve got everything I need in front of me. I just need to focus for X amount of time, and then I’ll be through with this essay.”

  5. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 5

    Work extra hard to focus if you’re planning on writing late into the night. Pulling an “all nighter” is not recommended when trying to write an essay, as it can leave you exhausted and your work seeming unfocused. If you are in a situation where you have to do this, however, a few guidelines will help you to do the best you can: [2]

    • Save caffeine for when you really need it. Try to avoid having too much early on in the process, because caffeine will eventually cause you to mentally “crash.”
    • Don’t get too comfortable. Write in a place that means “work” to you, such as a desk, study room, or library. Try not to get in your pajamas or lie in bed. You’ll want to keep your mind on writing, not drifting off to sleep.
    • Get some exercise now and then. Get up from your work to walk around for a few minutes, or do a few pushups, etc. once in a while while working on your essay. A little bit of exercise will help keep you energized and stay focused.
    • Get plenty of sleep the next day. You will need to recover from your lack of sleep.

Part 2


  1. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 6

    Start by reading the assignment. Look over any prompt or guidelines you have for writing the essay very carefully. Sometimes fully understanding the assignment is half the battle. [3] You will want to make sure you follow any instructions you are given regarding the length, format, and content of the essay. Usually, the keys to writing a great essay are there in the prompt.

    • For example, if you are writing for a literature class and a prompt asks you to “illustrate your argument with specific evidence,” you’ll know that means the essay will need to quote directly from the text you are reading.
  2. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 7

    Make an outline. Choose a style you prefer (bullet points, a diagram, brief sentences, etc.). The outline doesn’t necessarily have to be very extensive, but at the very least you should jot down the main points you think your essay will make. [4]

    • When making your outline, work closely with the texts or research you will use to write the essay. Look for key points and quotations that you think you might incorporate into the essay, and make a note of them.
    • While it might seem like stopping to make an outline will eat up precious time, it will actually help you write more efficiently and clearly. [5] Having a few points in mind, and a sense of direction, will keep the essay from rambling.
  3. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 8

    Don’t use over-preparation as a way of procrastinating. This is especially the case if you are working on a paper that requires research or outside readings. It is tempting to put off the actual writing of the essay by doing more research, but the preparation has to come to an end so you can begin your work. [6] You can always come back to your research while you are writing or revising if you think you need to incorporate more.

Part 3

Crafting a Strong Thesis

  1. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 9

    Consider what the main point of your essay will be. Many rushed papers lack a strong thesis. [7] Spending extra time focusing your main objective will result in a stronger essay. What question will your essay address?

    • Sometimes, an essay prompt gives you a specific question to answer, and sometimes you are asked to develop your own, so read your assignment directions carefully. Whatever the case, your thesis is your specific answer to the question.
  2. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 10

    Formulate a thesis that is arguable. This means that you will be working to convince your reader of your point by providing evidence to back it up. [8] Write out your thesis when you are making your outline. If it sounds like too obvious of a point, revise it until it seems more arguable. A thesis is more than a topic or statement of fact.

    • “United States government” is an example of a topic or subject.
    • “The United States government is comprised of three branches: the legislative, the judicial, and the executive” is a statement of fact.
    • “The structural division of the United States government into the legislative, judicial, and executive branches is responsible for the long-term stability of the nation” is an example of a thesis because it would leave a reader expecting you to explain further. They might wonder, for example, why you think the branches of the government are responsible for the nation’s stability, as opposed to economic or cultural factors, and you essay has the opportunity to explain and answer this.
  3. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 11

    Choose a thesis that is appropriate to your assignment type. There are several kinds of theses. For example, an expository thesis explains something to readers, while an analytical thesis breaks down a topic into parts and evaluates them. Even an essay based on a narrative (story) will benefit from a clear thesis. [9] Read your prompt or assignment sheet carefully to understand which kind of thesis you need for your essay.

    • A prompt that asks you to “Evaluate the relationship between the branches of the United States government,” for example, seeks an analytical thesis. On the other hand, a prompt that asks you to “Describe the process by which the United States government was divided into three branches” is asking you to narrate a sequence of events.

Part 4

Writing the First Draft

  1. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 12

    Begin with the introduction. The introduction is a very important part of an essay—perhaps the most important—because it orients your reader and explains your argument. [10] For the first draft, however, don’t agonize over it. You just need to begin writing. The introduction doesn’t have to be perfect in the first draft, because you can come back and edit it later. Get something down, and it will help you move confidently forward.

    • When you are pressed for time, don’t worry too much about writing a creative introduction–just try to write one that is clear and focused. If you have time left at the end, you can come back and try to improve it.
    • A simple but effective plan is to make sure that your introduction states your essay’s thesis, and gives an overview of what the subsequent paragraphs or sections will discuss. Your outline will help you do this. A simple version of this would look something like “In this essay, I will first describe X, before moving on to Y and Z. Then, I will explain the relationship between X,Y, and Z, demonstrating that [insert thesis statement here].”
  2. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 13

    Follow your outline. Take the writing of the essay bit by bit, following the outline you made. This will keep your writing on track, and keeping your plan in mind will encourage you to keep going.

  3. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 14

    Don’t get caught up worrying about word choice, spelling, etc. If you’re wavering between describing Shakespeare as a “great” writer, or “the greatest,” for example, just pick one for now and move on.You’ll be able to deal with such things when you do a final read-through of the essay. When time is short, you will write more productively, and keep your morale up, if you keep pushing through with more writing. [11]

    • Cite any works you use as a reference or for quotations. If you are quoting another work, cite it according to the style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) your instructor wants you to use. Even if you are just paraphrasing a work, you should cite it. If you don’t properly cite your sources, you are plagiarizing. As a rule of thumb, if you got an idea or information from a source outside of your own head, you should cite it. [12]

      Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 15

    • It is far easier to cite while you are writing than to go back and try to add in citations after you have written your paper. Keep up with them as you go.
  4. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 16

    Pace yourself. While you have to work quickly, take a short break from writing now and then, especially if you get stuck—just don’t get distracted and take too long.

    • Some prefer to take scheduled breaks, by setting a timer or watching a clock. Others prefer to take a break after reaching a convenient stopping point, such as the end of a paragraph or page. Whatever method you choose, make a note of where to pick back up when you return to writing. [13]
    • Take a breath, get up, have a drink or snack. By taking a short break, you’re not wasting time—you’re actually helping yourself write more efficiently by clearing your head and relieving stress. [14]

Part 5

Reviewing Your Work

  1. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 17

    Reevaluate your essay’s thesis and argument. Look back over your essay and make sure one last time that your thesis makes sense and is arguable, and that your writing supports it. [15]

    • Editing at the end is a critically important step. [16] While it can be tempting to consider yourself done once you have a draft, you can greatly improve your essay (and eventual grade) if you take some time to review it and make any necessary changes.
    • Review your essay’s structure, organization, and style. Make sure your paragraphs proceed in a logical way; move them around if they don’t. Now is also the time to go back and edit any of your sentences for word choice, clarity, and grammar.
  2. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 18

    Focus your editing if you are running out of time. If you’re really pressed for time, then probably the most beneficial things you can do to improve your essay are to make a reverse outline and to revise your introduction. [17]

    • A reverse outline is a great, quick strategy to check the logic of your essay’s structure. [18] To do this, you create an outline from your finished draft, jotting down the main ideas of your essay paragraph by paragraph. The result will look much like an outline you would create before writing an essay, but you can use it to double-check your finished product.
    • Editing your introduction can clarify your thesis and make your essay stronger. While you made your outline and began writing your essay with a certain idea of what your thesis or “point” was, that idea probably changed at least slightly as you wrote the essay itself. Go back to the intro after you have finished a draft of the essay and make any changes to the wording of your thesis based on what the rest of the essay says (the reverse outline will help figure this out).
  3. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 19

    Proofread your work. At the final stage of writing, do a quick check of your essay for any remaining spelling and grammatical errors.

    • Electronic spelling and grammar checkers can help you out, but don’t rely on them to do all the work. Always do a read-through before submitting your work.
    • The most efficient technique for catching mistakes is to read your work out loud. [19]
    • Get someone you know and trust to proofread your work, if you can. A pair of fresh eyes can catch mistakes you might have overlooked.
  4. Image titled Write a Last Minute Essay Step 20

    Submit your work on time. Print the essay if you need to. If you are submitting electronically, do everything you can to make sure the file type is correct and the file was received.

Community Q&A


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  • Question
    How do I write a boring essay?
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    Community Answer

    If you use a lot of really long and mundane words, people with shorter attention spans will become uninterested.

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  • Question
    How do I do an essay about a tough fast?
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    Think about it you are writing from experience about a fast (explore that idea) and was the fast for religious reason or personal? Write about why you (if it was you) fasted, and how it felt, what you ultimately learned from the experience, and your thoughts on it.

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    How can I write a five minute speech?
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    Focus on writing in it in the way that you plan to speak. In order to do that, you should take breaks in your writing to read out your paragraphs and make sure they are something that you would actually say. Just remember that when writing we tend to exaggerate and overword things, while in speaking we want to go the simplest route to increase audience understanding. Time yourself when you think it is complete and cut or add as necessary.

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    • If you are worried about meeting an assignment’s length requirement, you can try writing longer sentences with more adjectives, or using more quotations. Do so sparingly, however, because over-reliance on these techniques will lower the quality of your work.
    • Another technique to meet an assignment’s length requirement is to enlarge an essay’s font, margins, or line spacing slightly. Be aware that you instructor might notice the difference, however.


    • Whatever you do, don’t plagiarize. The consequences can be severe. Turning in even a lower quality essay is better than being caught for plagiarizing one. If you are truly pressed for time, you can also try asking your instructor for an extension of the assignment’s due date, anyway.

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    Sources and Citations

    1. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/procrastination/
    2. http://www.delval.edu/blog/dos-and-dont-for-pulling-a-finals-all-nighter#.VWp3H6bfgQU
    3. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/688/01/
    4. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/01/
    5. http://www.csus.edu/wac/wac/students/prewriting.html
    6. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/procrastination/
    7. http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/rushed.html
    8. http://www2.pitt.edu/~kloman/Anthony/news-paper.html
    9. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/01/
    10. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/724/
    11. http://research.pomona.edu/writingcenter/files/2011/11/Your-Ultimate-Guide-to-Last-Minute-Essays.pdf
    12. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/02/
    13. http://www.studyskills.soton.ac.uk/studytips/write_essay.htm
    14. https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/writing-essay-hurry.html
    15. http://research.pomona.edu/writingcenter/files/2011/11/Your-Ultimate-Guide-to-Last-Minute-Essays.pdf
    16. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/diagnostic/lastminute
    17. http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/revising-draft
    18. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/689/01/
    19. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reading-aloud/

    Show more… (16)

    Article Info

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    Categories: Featured Articles | Writing Essays Quickly

    In other languages:

    Español:  escribir un ensayo de último minuto , Italiano:  Scrivere un Tema all’Ultimo Minuto , Português:  Escrever uma Redação de Última Hora , Français:  rédiger une dissertation de dernière minute , Русский:  написать сочинение в последний момент , Bahasa Indonesia:  Menyelesaikan Esai Menjelang Tenggat Waktu , Deutsch:  Einen Aufsatz in letzter Minute schreiben

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