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Essay writing for people in a hurry

During my three years at university, I accomplished a lot. I’m not talking about the course or the grades. I’m talking about learning how to get out of your own head and make results happen when time and effort levels are a little on the short side.

This is a skill that I have adapted and used throughout my adult life. But where did it begin? Weekly essays. That’s where. Every Friday, for the entire degree course, I was expected to hand in an essay.

The essay title was up to me. The essay length was up to me. The style and tone and the entire point of the essay was all left up to me. The reasoning behind this workload was simply to make sure that the student body was reading and researching topic-related content every week.

There was just one problem. My busiest night of the week was Thursday night. I had two clubs to attend and usually a busy after party would break out. Usually, I would have to create an essay out of thin air in around an hour. And now I’ll let you know how I did it.

Stand on the shoulders of giants  

First of all, you need to find resources that do all the heavy lifting. What does that mean? It means that no matter what you’re writing about, there will be an array of associated big names. Writing about Physics? Einstein, Newton, Hawking, and Feynman can help.

Writing about modern pop culture? You need The Beatles, The Godfather, Friends, the iPhone and cryptocurrencies. Find the content you need to help make your point, and reword that content to put your own spin on things. 

This isn’t stealing, it’s literally the definition of research, only we’re steering clear of a blank page by starting with a copied and pasted chunk of text (just remember to change the wording entirely – your work will do you no favours if it’s been plagiarised).

Change tack when you hit dead ends There’s nothing worse than thinking you have a great idea for a whole section of essay content only to write the first sentence and realise that you have no way of finishing the thought or re-appropriating difficult to understand text. There’s nothing else for it.

You need to highlight the troublesome text and hit delete. In the writing industry, this is known as killing your darlings, and it’s a difficult thing to do. Sometimes up to half an hour can be wasted. But it’s better to pull the plug now than it is to waste another half an hour staring at a blinking cursor.