How to write school and college essays overnight

How to write school and college essays overnight
| How-To > How-To-Guides


Writing School Assignments Overnight.

Learning to read and write is a gift. It’s a superpower often overlooked. But sometimes it can feel like a curse. You have an idea that you just can’t express. You have a deadline and just spent a month procrastinating like a pro. You’ve not got very much time, or just can’t get started. Fortunately, there’s hope.

What are you writing about?

If this is an essay, presentation or school project then I would hope you’ve done the bare bones of research before now. If you’ve got a few days before your work is due in: start now. Read your book, or at least the key chapters and a decent summery of the rest. Get online and do some intensive research. Don’t stop at Wikipedia if you value your grades. Always have the essay question in mind and keep your eyes peeled for relevant stuff. Shakespeare may have been a misogynist, but that won’t help you much if the question is about the use of disguise in King Leer now, will it?

Break it down.

Subtitles are your friends. Maybe not in the project itself, but as a brief plan. Look at your essay title and think of your answer. Think of an appropriate number of points to make in between. Three might cut it for a high school assignment, at least five for college and (obviously) more the higher you go up the academic ladder. Your teacher should have given you an indication of how many points you’ll need in total: always use this as a guide. Never do less unless your points are absolutely fabulous, and never do too many more. You’ll just end up waffling and, in this case, it will take too long. Your introduction is a brief paragraph on the essay question, the background of the author or whatever you think is appropriate. Each of your points is a paragraph. In both high school and college I was warned to PEE all over my work. That is make your Point, give an Example and Explain it. If you need to reference your evidence, do your bibliography as you go along.

Putting it all together

Alright, you’re writing your essay the day before it’s due. It’s doable. You might want to briefly look up Mooky’s tips on pulling an all-nighter and grab your caffeine fix of choice but make it VERY briefly. Five minutes, or it’s just more procrastinating. Stick a song you can work with on repeat. You are not allowed to change this song until you’re finished now. Better make it something without lyrics, and that starts and ends in a similar way. Really you just need something that’s background noise to stop you being distracted by dripping taps and wandering cats without making you stop and puzzle out a song meaning.

So you have your plan, your research and your procrastination busters? Turn off your internet. Anything you don’t have research-wise can wait. Stick a note to yourself into the essay and move on. Make your note REALLY obvious though, so you don’t forget to fix it. Churn out that essay. Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound very intelligent. Get the words down first. You can improve the language later if you have time. It’s always better to hand in a half decent essay on time than it is to have nothing at all because your teacher wouldn’t accept a late submission. If you’ve got a word count to stick to, don’t worry about it for now. That can be fixed later. I’ll say it again: it’s always better to hand in something less than perfect than nothing at all. Playing around with fonts, spacing, indents and the sentence structure might feel like productivity but really it’s procrastination all over again and it’s just making you tired of the project.

Tidy up time

Bulk of the work done? Got it all down, and a few hours left to polish it off? Good. Get yourself another drink. Head back on the internet and find all the notes you’ve left yourself. If you can’t find it quickly and it’s not essential, forget about it. Take a little walk, even if it’s just to the bathroom. Then sit down ready to fix it all up to a higher standard.

If you have a word count, check it now. Work out how much you need to add or lose to make it right. Most teachers will accept a certain amount above or below a limit, so don’t worry if you’re ten words over. But if you’re significantly away from the required number, bare that in mind when you read through and fix where you can. Tart up your language (thesauruses are little miracles) and fix any errors you’ve made.

Don’t do it again

We all like to think that we’ll get an essay done well before the deadline with very little trouble, and that we’ll improve bad study habits next time (especially when you’re falling asleep drinking energy drinks the following day). So to avoid all this chaos next time, do a couple of easy things. Read your assignment question before the book and make notes of relevant quotes. Find a couple of reference books and do the same (your teacher will be willing and able to suggest a few). Make a bit of time every day to turn a couple of notes into a paragraph. When you have enough paragraphs, stick them together and tart up. Then get an early night the day before the deadline and feel rightfully proud of yourself for doing such a good job.

Tagged in:

Click here if you'd like to write for Mookychick...