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I Need to Write My Essay in an Hour: Basic Rules to Follow

That moment that you realize you have a paper due for a class in an hour might just be one of those horrible moments that you just never forget. Your stomach drops, you start sweating, you feel hot and cold all at the same time: panic sets in and you realize that there’s no way to do it. But you’re wrong! You can do it! It won’t be a great paper, it may not be a good paper, but it’ll be a paper, and there’s always a chance you could re-write it if you talk to your teacher. Here are some rules you need to follow if you want to finish that essay in crunch time.

  • First off, kiss your A goodbye. There’s simply no way you’re going to get that top grade writing an essay in an hour. It’s not going to happen. So don’t expect it to, and don’t strive to write an A paper! Instead, focus on meeting as many of the requirements for the paper as you can in as little time as possible.
  • Calm down, take a breath, and take 5 minutes to plan. You won’t be able to write a single coherent sentence unless you take a moment to collect your thoughts, then devote a few minutes to planning. What are you going to say? How do you want to say it? Make an outline of your paper. If, during your outline, you feel like writing a few sentences about a particular point, go right ahead. Getting words on the page is the most important thing at this point. However, the minute you feel yourself stalling for the right word or phrasing, move on. You can go back to it. The trick is to keep writing.
  • Once you have your outline, start making full sentences of your point. Again, when you find yourself stalling, move on. There may be parts of your essay that you won’t have time to get to: this isn’t ideal, but it’s much better to hand in a completely finished essay with a few very good points than a half-finished essay where none of the points are fully explained!
  • Use what you know to add bulk. If you need to write two pages or five, your best bet for making the length minimum is to talk about what you’re already well-versed in. Ignore all the good writing advice that tells you not to go overboard with background information or details. In this case, it’s better if your teacher thinks you’re just confused about proper essay writing than having them think you waited to the last minute to write.
  • Don’t worry about flourishes in your vocabulary. This is not the time to break out the thesaurus. Worry about the content, not the actual words you use. All the fancy words in the world won’t make up for a paper that doesn’t show you’ve comprehended the material you were supposed to be writing on!