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Mastering the art of essay writing – a comprehensive guide.

How write an essay

Essay writing is a fundamental skill that every student needs to master. Whether you’re in high school, college, or beyond, the ability to write a strong, coherent essay is essential for academic success. However, many students find the process of writing an essay daunting and overwhelming.

This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate the intricate world of essay writing. From understanding the basics of essay structure to mastering the art of crafting a compelling thesis statement, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the tools and knowledge you need to write an outstanding essay that will impress your teachers and classmates alike.

So, grab your pen and paper (or fire up your laptop) and let’s dive into the ultimate guide to writing an essay. Follow our tips and tricks, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled and confident essay writer!

The Art of Essay Writing: A Comprehensive Guide

Essay writing is a skill that requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. Whether you’re a student working on an assignment or a professional writing for publication, mastering the art of essay writing can help you communicate your ideas effectively and persuasively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key elements of a successful essay, including how to choose a topic, structure your essay, and craft a compelling thesis statement. We’ll also discuss the importance of research, editing, and proofreading, and provide tips for improving your writing style and grammar.

By following the advice in this guide, you can become a more confident and skilled essay writer, capable of producing high-quality, engaging essays that will impress your readers and achieve your goals.

Understanding the Essay Structure

When it comes to writing an essay, understanding the structure is key to producing a cohesive and well-organized piece of writing. An essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction is where you introduce your topic and provide some background information. It should also include your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument that you will be discussing in the essay.

Body paragraphs: The body of the essay is where you present your supporting evidence and arguments. Each paragraph should focus on a separate point and include evidence to back up your claims. Remember to use transition words to link your ideas together cohesively.

Conclusion: The conclusion is where you wrap up your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis. It is also a good place to make any final thoughts or reflections on the topic.

Understanding the structure of an essay will help you write more effectively and communicate your ideas clearly to your readers.

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

One of the most crucial steps in writing a successful essay is selecting the right topic. The topic you choose will determine the direction and focus of your writing, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect topic for your essay:

Choose a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Writing about something you enjoy will make the process more enjoyable and your enthusiasm will come through in your writing.
Do some preliminary research to see what topics are available and what resources are out there. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a topic that is both interesting and manageable.
Think about who will be reading your essay and choose a topic that will resonate with them. Consider their interests, knowledge level, and any biases they may have when selecting a topic.
Take some time to brainstorm different topic ideas. Write down all the potential topics that come to mind, and then evaluate each one based on relevance, interest, and feasibility.
Try to choose a topic that offers a unique perspective or angle. Avoid overly broad topics that have been extensively covered unless you have a fresh take to offer.

By following these tips and considering your interests, audience, and research, you can choose a topic that will inspire you to write an engaging and compelling essay.

Research and Gathering Information

When writing an essay, conducting thorough research and gathering relevant information is crucial. Here are some tips to help you with your research:

Make sure to use reliable sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites. Avoid using sources that are not credible or biased.
As you research, take notes on important information that you can use in your essay. Organize your notes so that you can easily reference them later.
Don’t rely solely on one type of source. Utilize a variety of sources to provide a well-rounded perspective on your topic.
Before using a source in your essay, make sure to evaluate its credibility and relevance to your topic. Consider the author’s credentials, publication date, and biases.
Make sure to keep a record of the sources you use in your research. This will help you properly cite them in your essay and avoid plagiarism.

Crafting a Compelling Thesis Statement

When writing an essay, one of the most crucial elements is the thesis statement. This statement serves as the main point of your essay, summarizing the argument or position you will be taking. Crafting a compelling thesis statement is essential for a strong and cohesive essay. Here are some tips to help you create an effective thesis statement:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Make it arguable: A strong thesis statement is debatable and presents a clear position that can be supported with evidence.
  • Avoid clichés: Stay away from overused phrases or clichés in your thesis statement. Instead, strive for originality and clarity.
  • Keep it concise: Your thesis statement should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words or phrases.
  • Take a stand: Your thesis statement should express a clear stance on the topic. Don’t be afraid to assert your position.

By following these guidelines, you can craft a compelling thesis statement that sets the tone for your essay and guides your reader through your argument.

Writing the Body of Your Essay

Once you have your introduction in place, it’s time to dive into the body of your essay. The body paragraphs are where you will present your main arguments or points to support your thesis statement.

Here are some tips for writing the body of your essay:

  • Stick to One Main Idea: Each paragraph should focus on one main idea or argument. This will help keep your essay organized and easy to follow.
  • Use Topic Sentences: Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Provide Evidence: Support your main points with evidence such as facts, statistics, examples, or quotes from experts.
  • Explain Your Points: Don’t just state your points; also explain how they support your thesis and why they are important.
  • Use Transition Words: Use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow between paragraphs.

Remember to refer back to your thesis statement and make sure that each paragraph contributes to your overall argument. The body of your essay is where you can really showcase your critical thinking and analytical skills, so take the time to craft well-developed and coherent paragraphs.

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are essential steps in the essay writing process to ensure your work is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you perfect your essay:

  • Take a Break: After writing your essay, take a break before starting the editing process. This will help you look at your work with fresh eyes.
  • Focus on Structure: Check the overall structure of your essay, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Make sure your ideas flow logically and cohesively.
  • Check for Clarity: Ensure that your arguments are clear and easy to follow. Eliminate any jargon or confusing language that might obscure your message.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Review your essay for grammar and punctuation errors. Pay attention to subject-verb agreement, verb tense consistency, and proper punctuation usage.
  • Use a Spell Checker: Run a spell check on your essay to catch any spelling mistakes. However, don’t rely solely on spell checkers as they may miss certain errors.
  • Read Aloud: Read your essay aloud to yourself or have someone else read it to you. This can help you identify awkward phrasing or unclear sentences.
  • Get Feedback: Consider getting feedback from a peer, teacher, or writing tutor. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving your essay.

By following these editing and proofreading tips, you can ensure that your essay is well-crafted, organized, and free of errors, helping you make a strong impression on your readers.

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How to memorise essays and long responses

how to learn an essay fast

Lauren Condon

Marketing Specialist at Atomi

how to learn an essay fast

When it comes to memorising essays or long responses for your exams, there are three big things to consider.

  • Should you even try to memorise an essay?
  • Do you know how to adapt your memorised response to the exam question?
  • How on earth are you meant to memorise a 1,200 word essay??

It’s a lot to weigh up but we can help you out here. If you want an answer to the first question, here’s one we prepared earlier. But wait, there’s more! If you’re super keen to read more about question #2, then go ahead and click here .

And for that third point on how to actually memorise a long essay? Well, all you have to do is keep reading...

1. Break it down

Your essay/long response/creative writing piece could be anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words long. Yeah… that’s a lot. So when it comes to memorising the whole thing, it’s a lot easier to break the answer down into logical chunks and work on memorising it bit by bit.

So if you want to memorise your Discovery Essay, you might have something like this:

  • Introduction
  • Theme 1 with the assigned text
  • Theme 1 with the related text
  • Theme 2 with the assigned text
  • Theme 2 with the related text

You’re going to want to memorise the paragraphs and pay attention to the structure then you can piece it all together in the exam. Having a killer structure makes it a lot easier to remember the overall bones of this situation and if you’re finding this effective, you can even break those body paragraphs down further like topic sentence > example > explanation > connection to thesis.

2. Use memory tricks

Now, there are lots of different strategies and approaches when it comes to memorising a long piece of writing. Moving in sections, you can try reading it out loud over again (slowly looking at the paper less and less) or the classic look-cover-write-check approach. If you’re really struggling, make some of your own flashcards that have the first sentence on one side and the next sentence on the back so you can test your progress.

You could also enlist the help of some creative mnemonics (memory tricks) to remind you which sentence or section needs to come next. Pick one keyword from each sentence in the paragraph and turn them into a silly sentence to help you remember the structure of the paragraph and to make sure you don’t forget one of your awesome points.

3. Play to your strengths

Not all of us are super geniuses that can just read an essay and then memorise the entire thing but we’re all going to have our own strengths. There’s going to be something whether it’s art, music, writing, performance or sport that just ‘clicks’ in your brain and this is what you want to capitalise on. So for me, I was really into debating and public speaking (hold back the jokes please) and was used to giving speeches and remembering them. So whenever I wanted to memorise a long response, I would write out the essay onto palm cards and then practice it out loud like a speech. Did it annoy my family? Yes. Was I too embarrassed to tell people my strategy? Yes. Did it work? Absolutely. 💯

Whatever your strengths are, find a way to connect them to your essay and come up with a creative way of learning your long response that will be much easier and more effective for you!

4. Start early

So you know how there’s that whole long-term/short-term memory divide? Yeah well that’s going to be pretty relevant when it comes to memorising. You’re going to have a much better chance of remembering your long response if you start early and practice it often, instead of trying to cram it in the night before… sorry.

The good news is, you still have a couple of months before the HSC so try to get your prepared response written, get good feedback from your teachers and then make it perfect so it’s ready to go for the HSC. Then, the next step is to start memorising the essay now and test yourself on it fairly regularly all the way up to your exams. This way, you have plenty of time to really lock it deep into your memory.

5. Test yourself

The final and maybe even most important step is to test yourself. And not with flashcards or the look-cover-check-repeat anymore. Once you’ve got the essay memorised pretty well, you want to spend the weeks coming up to HSC doing past questions so you can practice

  • Having the essay memorised
  • Being able to recall it under pressure
  • Adapting it to any question so that all your hard work will actually pay off

For this to work, you really need to commit 100% to exam conditions (no cheating!) and it’s definitely worth sending those responses to your teacher to get them marked. That way, you will actually know if you’re doing a good job of remembering the core of your argument but also tailoring it perfectly to the question.

Any subject with essays or long responses can be super daunting so if you want to have a pre-written, adaptable response ready to go then it’s worth making sure you can actually memorise it for your exam. Remember to break down the essay into sections, play to your memory strengths and make sure you consistently test yourself all the way up to HSC. That should do the trick. 👌

Published on

July 28, 2017

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13 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills


Written by  Scribendi

Anyone can learn to produce an academic essay if they begin with a few basic essay-writing rules. 

An academic essay must be based upon a solid but debatable thesis, supported by relevant and credible evidence, and closed with a succinct and thorough conclusion.

By adhering to the best way to write an essay, you can create valuable, persuasive papers even when you're under a time crunch!

What Makes a Good Essay?

As previously noted, the foundation of any good academic essay is its thesis statement. 

Do not confuse your thesis with your opening sentence. There are many good ways to start an essay , but few essays immediately present their main ideas.

After you draft your thesis, you can begin to develop your essay around it. This development will include the main supporting points of your essay, which will scaffold its main body. 

Essays also typically include a relevant and compelling introduction and conclusion.

Learn How to Write a Great Thesis Statement .

Good Ways to Start an Essay

Understanding How to Write a Good Essay

When writing an academic essay, you must take a number of qualities and characteristics into careful consideration. Focus, development, unity, coherence, and correctness all play critical roles when it comes to distinguishing an exceptional essay from one that is less than perfect.

The following essay-writing tips can help writers organize, format, and support their essays in ways that fit their intended purpose and optimize their overall persuasiveness. Here are 13 essay tips for developing and writing your next academic paper.

1. Know What You Are Going to Write About Before You Start Writing

While untrained writers might just sit down and start typing, educated and experienced writers know that there are many steps to writing an essay.

In short, you should know what you want to say before you type a single word. The easiest way to narrow down a thesis and create a proper argument is to make a basic outline before you begin composing your essay.

Your outline should consist of rough notes that sketch out your introduction (including your thesis), the body of your essay (which should include separate paragraphs that present your main supporting points with plenty of evidence and examples), and your conclusion (which ties everything together and connects the argument back to your thesis).

2. Acquire a Solid Understanding of Basic Grammar, Punctuation, and Style

Before getting into more refined essay-writing techniques, you must have a solid grasp of grammar, punctuation, and style. Without these writing fundamentals, it will be difficult to communicate your ideas effectively and ensure that they are taken seriously.

Grammar basics include subject and verb agreement, correct article and pronoun use, and well-formed sentence structures. Make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation. Be mindful of your comma usage and know when a period is needed.

Finally, voice is tremendously important in academic essay writing. Employ language that is as concise as possible. Avoid transition words that don't add anything to the sentence and unnecessary wordiness that detracts from your argument.

Furthermore, use the active voice instead of the passive whenever possible (e.g., "this study found" instead of "it was found by this study"). This will make your essay's tone clear and direct.

3. Use the Right Vocabulary and Know What the Words You Are Using Actually Mean

How you use language is important, especially in academic essay writing. When writing an academic essay, remember that you are persuading others that you are an expert who argues intelligently about your topic.

Using big words just to sound smart often results in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone is overcompensating in their writing.

If you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk using it incorrectly. There's no shame in checking, and it might save you from an embarrassing word misuse later!

Using obscure language can also detract from the clarity of your argument—you should consider this before pulling out a thesaurus to change a perfectly appropriate word to something completely different.

4. Understand the Argument and Critically Analyze the Evidence

While writing a good essay, your main argument should always be at the front of your mind. While it's tempting to go off on a tangent about an interesting side note, doing so makes your writing less concise.

Always question the evidence you include in your essay; ask yourself, "Does this directly support my thesis?" If the answer is "no," then that evidence should probably be excluded. 

When you are evaluating evidence, be critical and thorough. You want to use the strongest research to back up your thesis. It is not enough to simply present evidence in support of an argument. A good writer must also explain why the evidence is relevant and supportive.

Everything you include should clearly connect to your topic and argument.   

Research Databases

5. Know How to Write a Conclusion That Supports Your Research

One of the most overlooked steps to writing an essay is the conclusion. Your conclusion ties all your research together and proves your thesis. It should not be a restatement of your introduction or a copy-and-paste of your thesis.

A strong conclusion briefly outlines the key evidence discussed in the body of an essay and directly ties it to the thesis to show how the evidence proves or disproves the main argument of your research.

Countless great essays have been written only to be derailed by vague, weakly worded conclusions. Don't let your next essay become one of those.     

6. Build a Solid Thesis to Support Your Arguments

A thesis is the main pillar of an essay. By selecting a specific thesis, you'll be able to develop arguments to support your central opinion. Consider writing about a unique experience or your own particular view of a topic .

Your thesis should be clear and logical, but it should also be debatable. Otherwise, it might be difficult to support it with compelling arguments.

7. Develop an Interesting Opening Paragraph to Hook In Readers from the Get-Go

No matter how you begin your essay, you must strive to capture the reader's interest immediately. If your opening paragraph doesn't catch the eye and engage the brain, any attempt at persuasion may end before the essay even starts. 

The beginning of your essay is crucial for setting the stage for your thesis.

8. Always Remember to Edit and Proofread Your Essay

Any decent writer will tell you that writing is really rewriting. A good academic essay will inevitably go through multiple drafts as it slowly takes shape. When you arrive at a final draft, you must make sure that it is as close to perfect as possible.

This means subjecting your essay to close and comprehensive editing and proofreading processes. In other words, you must read your paper as many times as necessary to eliminate all grammar/punctuation mistakes and typos.

It is helpful to have a third party review your work. Consider consulting a peer or professional editing service. Keep in mind that professional editors are able to help you identify underdeveloped arguments and unnecessarily wordy language, and provide other feedback.

Get Critical Feedback on Your Writing

Hire an expert academic editor , or get a free sample, 9. when developing your essay's main body, build strong and relevant arguments.

Every sentence in the main body of your paper should explain and support your thesis. When deciding how much evidence to include in an academic essay, a good guideline is to include at least three main supporting arguments.

Those main supporting arguments, in turn, require support in the form of relevant facts, figures, examples, analogies, and observations. 

You will need to engage in appropriate research to accomplish this. To organize your research efforts, you may want to develop a list of good research questions . 

10. Choose the Format of Your Essay before Writing It

The final shape that your essay takes depends a great deal on what kind of format you use. Popular college essay format types include the Modern Language Association of America ( MLA ), American Psychological Association ( APA ), and Chicago Manual of Style ( Chicago style).

These formats govern everything from capitalization rules to source citation. Often, professors dictate a specific format for your essay. If they do not, you should choose the format that best suits your field.

11. Create Clear Transitions between Your Ideas

Although unnecessary transition words are the enemy of clarity and concision, they can be invaluable tools when it comes to separating and connecting the different sections of your essay. 

Not only do they help you express your ideas but they also bring a cohesive structure to your sentences and a pleasant flow to your writing. Just be sure that you are using the right transition words for the right purpose and to the proper effect.

12. Always Include an Organized Reference Page at the End of Your Essay

As a key component of MLA, APA, and Chicago Style formatting, the reference or Works Cited page is an essential part of any academic essay.

Regardless of the format used, the reference page must be well organized and easy to read so that your audience can see exactly where your outside information came from. 

To produce a properly formatted reference page, you may have to familiarize yourself with specialized phrases and abbreviations, such as " et al ." 


13. Use Inclusive Language

Incorporating inclusive language in your academic writing ensures that your work is respectful and accessible to all readers. Use gender-neutral pronouns like "they/them" and replace gender-specific terms with inclusive alternatives, such as "firefighter" instead of "fireman." 

You can also respect cultural diversity by avoiding stereotypes and generalizations, specifying details like "Japanese, Thai, and Indian cuisine" rather than "Asian cuisine." Engaging with diverse audiences for feedback and staying updated on inclusive language practices will help you continuously improve your writing.

How to Write a Good Hook for an Essay

The key to a good hook is to introduce an unexplored or absorbing line of inquiry in your introduction that addresses the main point of your thesis. 

By carefully choosing your language and slowly revealing details, you can build reader anticipation for what follows. 

Much like an actual worm-baited fishing hook, a successful hook will lure and capture readers, allowing the writer to "reel them in."

How to Get Better at Writing Essays

You can get better at writing essays the same way that you improve at anything else: practice, practice, practice! However, there are a few ways that you can improve your writing quickly so you can turn in a quality academic essay on time.

In addition to following the 13 essay tips and guidelines above, you can familiarize yourself with a few common practices and structures for essay development. 

Great writing techniques for essays include brainstorming and tree diagrams, especially when coming up with a topic for your thesis statement. Becoming familiar with different structures for organizing your essay (order of importance, chronological, etc.) is also extremely helpful.

How to Write a Good Introduction for an Essay

To learn how to write a good essay, you must also learn how to write a good introduction. 

Most effective essay introductions begin with relatively broad and general subject matter and then gradually narrow in focus and scope until they arrive at something extremely specific: the thesis. This is why writers tend to place their thesis statements at the very end of their introductory paragraph(s).

Because they are generally broad and often relate only tangentially to an essay's main point, there is virtually no limit on what the beginning of a good introduction can look like. However, writers still tend to rely on somewhat cliché opening sentences, such as quotations and rhetorical questions.

How to Write a Good Conclusion for an Essay

Briefly put, a good conclusion does two things. It wraps up any loose ends and drives home the main point of your essay. 

To learn how to write a good conclusion, you will want to ensure that no unanswered questions remain in the reader's mind. A good conclusion will restate the thesis and reinforce the essay's main supporting points.

Take Your Essay from Good to Great

About the author.

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing turn into a great one after the editing process. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained nearly 20 degrees collectively. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

Have You Read?

"The Complete Beginner's Guide to Academic Writing"

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how to learn an essay fast

Frequently asked questions

How do i write a college essay fast.

If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.

Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.

Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .

Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.

Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.

Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

Frequently asked questions: College admissions essays

When writing your Common App essay , choose a prompt that sparks your interest and that you can connect to a unique personal story.

No matter which prompt you choose, admissions officers are more interested in your ability to demonstrate personal development , insight, or motivation for a certain area of study.

The Common App essay is your primary writing sample within the Common Application, a college application portal accepted by more than 900 schools. All your prospective schools that accept the Common App will read this essay to understand your character, background, and value as a potential student.

Since this essay is read by many colleges, avoid mentioning any college names or programs; instead, save tailored answers for the supplementary school-specific essays within the Common App.

Most importantly, your essay should be about you , not another person or thing. An insightful college admissions essay requires deep self-reflection, authenticity, and a balance between confidence and vulnerability.

Your essay shouldn’t be a résumé of your experiences but instead should tell a story that demonstrates your most important values and qualities.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

Avoid swearing in a college essay , since admissions officers’ opinions of profanity will vary. In some cases, it might be okay to use a vulgar word, such as in dialogue or quotes that make an important point in your essay. However, it’s safest to try to make the same point without swearing.

If you have bad grades on your transcript, you may want to use your college admissions essay to explain the challenging circumstances that led to them. Make sure to avoid dwelling on the negative aspects and highlight how you overcame the situation or learned an important lesson.

However, some college applications offer an additional information section where you can explain your bad grades, allowing you to choose another meaningful topic for your college essay.

Here’s a brief list of college essay topics that may be considered cliché:

  • Extracurriculars, especially sports
  • Role models
  • Dealing with a personal tragedy or death in the family
  • Struggling with new life situations (immigrant stories, moving homes, parents’ divorce)
  • Becoming a better person after community service, traveling, or summer camp
  • Overcoming a difficult class
  • Using a common object as an extended metaphor

It’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic. However, it’s possible to make a common topic compelling with interesting story arcs, uncommon connections, and an advanced writing style.

Yes. The college application essay is less formal than other academic writing —though of course it’s not mandatory to use contractions in your essay.

In a college essay , you can be creative with your language . When writing about the past, you can use the present tense to make the reader feel as if they were there in the moment with you. But make sure to maintain consistency and when in doubt, default to the correct verb tense according to the time you’re writing about.

The college admissions essay gives admissions officers a different perspective on you beyond your academic achievements, test scores, and extracurriculars. It’s your chance to stand out from other applicants with similar academic profiles by telling a unique, personal, and specific story.

Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial to avoid distracting the reader from your college essay’s content.

A college application essay is less formal than most academic writing . Instead of citing sources formally with in-text citations and a reference list, you can cite them informally in your text.

For example, “In her research paper on genetics, Quinn Roberts explores …”

There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .

Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:

  • Overly personal (e.g. graphic details of illness or injury, romantic or sexual relationships)
  • Not personal enough (e.g. broad solutions to world problems, inspiring people or things)
  • Too negative (e.g. an in-depth look at your flaws, put-downs of others, criticizing the need for a college essay)
  • Too boring (e.g. a resume of your academic achievements and extracurriculars)
  • Inappropriate for a college essay (e.g. illegal activities, offensive humor, false accounts of yourself, bragging about privilege)

To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.

Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.

Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .

In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .

You can use humor in a college essay , but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn’t be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling.

Get a second opinion from a teacher, counselor, or essay coach on whether your essay’s humor is appropriate.

Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

To decide on a good college essay topic , spend time thoughtfully answering brainstorming questions. If you still have trouble identifying topics, try the following two strategies:

  • Identify your qualities → Brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities
  • Identify memorable stories → Connect your qualities to these stories

You can also ask family, friends, or mentors to help you brainstorm topics, give feedback on your potential essay topics, or recall key stories that showcase your qualities.

Yes—admissions officers don’t expect everyone to have a totally unique college essay topic . But you must differentiate your essay from others by having a surprising story arc, an interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style .

There are no foolproof college essay topics —whatever your topic, the key is to write about it effectively. However, a good topic

  • Is meaningful, specific, and personal to you
  • Focuses on you and your experiences
  • Reveals something beyond your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars
  • Is creative and original

Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.

You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).

There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :

  • Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
  • Reveal the main point or insight in your story
  • Look to the future
  • End on an action

The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.

College deadlines vary depending on the schools you’re applying to and your application plan:

  • For early action applications and the first round of early decision applications, the deadline is on November 1 or 15. Decisions are released by mid-December.
  • For the second round of early decision applications, the deadline is January 1 or 15. Decisions are released in January or February.
  • Regular decision deadlines usually fall between late November and mid-March, and decisions are released in March or April.
  • Rolling admission deadlines run from July to April, and decisions are released around four to eight weeks after submission.

Depending on your prospective schools’ requirements, you may need to submit scores for the SAT or ACT as part of your college application .

Some schools now no longer require students to submit test scores; however, you should still take the SAT or ACT and aim to get a high score to strengthen your application package.

Aim to take the SAT or ACT in the spring of your junior year to give yourself enough time to retake it in the fall of your senior year if necessary.

Apply early for federal student aid and application fee waivers. You can also look for scholarships from schools, corporations, and charitable foundations.

To maximize your options, you should aim to apply to about eight schools:

  • Two reach schools that might be difficult to get into
  • Four match schools that you have a good chance of getting into
  • Two safety schools that you feel confident you’ll get into

The college admissions essay accounts for roughly 25% of the weight of your application .

At highly selective schools, there are four qualified candidates for every spot. While your academic achievements are important, your college admissions essay can help you stand out from other applicants with similar profiles.

In general, for your college application you will need to submit all of the following:

  • Your personal information
  • List of extracurriculars and awards
  • College application essays
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendation letters.

Different colleges may have specific requirements, so make sure you check exactly what’s expected in the application guidance.

You should start thinking about your college applications the summer before your junior year to give you sufficient time for college visits, taking standardized tests, applying for financial aid , writing essays, and collecting application material.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

While timelines will differ depending on the student, plan on spending at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing the first draft of your college admissions essay , and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Don’t forget to save enough time for breaks between each writing and editing stage.

You should already begin thinking about your essay the summer before your senior year so that you have plenty of time to try out different topics and get feedback on what works.

Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.

In most cases, quoting other people isn’t a good way to start your college essay . Admissions officers want to hear your thoughts about yourself, and quotes often don’t achieve that. Unless a quote truly adds something important to your essay that it otherwise wouldn’t have, you probably shouldn’t include it.

Cliché openers in a college essay introduction are usually general and applicable to many students and situations. Most successful introductions are specific: they only work for the unique essay that follows.

The key to a strong college essay introduction is not to give too much away. Try to start with a surprising statement or image that raises questions and compels the reader to find out more.

The introduction of your college essay is the first thing admissions officers will read and therefore your most important opportunity to stand out. An excellent introduction will keep admissions officers reading, allowing you to tell them what you want them to know.

You can speed up this process by shortening and smoothing your writing with a paraphrasing tool . After that, you can use the summarizer to shorten it even more.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.

You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.

If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

In your application essay , admissions officers are looking for particular features : they want to see context on your background, positive traits that you could bring to campus, and examples of you demonstrating those qualities.

Colleges want to be able to differentiate students who seem similar on paper. In the college application essay , they’re looking for a way to understand each applicant’s unique personality and experiences.

You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.

Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:

  • Use a standard, readable font
  • Use 1.5 or double spacing
  • If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
  • Stick to the word count
  • Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches

There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:

  • A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
  • A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.

Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.

Campus visits are always helpful, but if you can’t make it in person, the college website will have plenty of information for you to explore. You should look through the course catalog and even reach out to current faculty with any questions about the school.

Colleges set a “Why this college?” essay because they want to see that you’ve done your research. You must prove that you know what makes the school unique and can connect that to your own personal goals and academic interests.

Depending on your writing, you may go through several rounds of revision . Make sure to put aside your essay for a little while after each editing stage to return with a fresh perspective.

Teachers and guidance counselors can help you check your language, tone, and content . Ask for their help at least one to two months before the submission deadline, as many other students will also want their help.

Friends and family are a good resource to check for authenticity. It’s best to seek help from family members with a strong writing or English educational background, or from older siblings and cousins who have been through the college admissions process.

If possible, get help from an essay coach or editor ; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.

Include specific, personal details and use your authentic voice to shed a new perspective on a common human experience.

Through specific stories, you can weave your achievements and qualities into your essay so that it doesn’t seem like you’re bragging from a resume.

When writing about yourself , including difficult experiences or failures can be a great way to show vulnerability and authenticity, but be careful not to overshare, and focus on showing how you matured from the experience.

First, spend time reflecting on your core values and character . You can start with these questions:

  • What are three words your friends or family would use to describe you, and why would they choose them?
  • Whom do you admire most and why?
  • What are you most proud of? Ashamed of?

However, you should do a comprehensive brainstorming session to fully understand your values. Also consider how your values and goals match your prospective university’s program and culture. Then, brainstorm stories that illustrate the fit between the two.

In a college application essay , you can occasionally bend grammatical rules if doing so adds value to the storytelling process and the essay maintains clarity.

However, use standard language rules if your stylistic choices would otherwise distract the reader from your overall narrative or could be easily interpreted as unintentional errors.

Write concisely and use the active voice to maintain a quick pace throughout your essay and make sure it’s the right length . Avoid adding definitions unless they provide necessary explanation.

Use first-person “I” statements to speak from your perspective . Use appropriate word choices that show off your vocabulary but don’t sound like you used a thesaurus. Avoid using idioms or cliché expressions by rewriting them in a creative, original way.

If you’re an international student applying to a US college and you’re comfortable using American idioms or cultural references , you can. But instead of potentially using them incorrectly, don’t be afraid to write in detail about yourself within your own culture.

Provide context for any words, customs, or places that an American admissions officer might be unfamiliar with.

College application essays are less formal than other kinds of academic writing . Use a conversational yet respectful tone , as if speaking with a teacher or mentor. Be vulnerable about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences to connect with the reader.

Aim to write in your authentic voice , with a style that sounds natural and genuine. You can be creative with your word choice, but don’t use elaborate vocabulary to impress admissions officers.

Admissions officers use college admissions essays to evaluate your character, writing skills , and ability to self-reflect . The essay is your chance to show what you will add to the academic community.

The college essay may be the deciding factor in your application , especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.

Some colleges also require supplemental essays about specific topics, such as why you chose that specific college . Scholarship essays are often required to obtain financial aid .

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how to learn an essay fast

How to Write an Essay Fast: Tips and Examples

how to learn an essay fast

Almost every student has experienced a circumstance where they had just a few hours before the essay deadline. So, what is the best course of action in this case? We suggest that you should either begin writing right away or seek professional assistance. Hiring a pro to write your essay is an easy way out. You can just order essay from our research paper writing services , and in a blink of an eye, your piece is ready to be sent out on time. But, if you want to write it yourself, then you need to know how to write an essay quickly.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write an Essay Fast

The essay writing process isn't simple. Especially when you want to do it quickly under the pressure of upcoming deadlines, but don't panic! Whether you’re wondering how to write an essay in a day or just an hour, you can still write an engaging and good essay fast. Here are some tips to help you write a paper faster:

Stage 📑 Task ✏️ Time ⏱️ Tips ✍️
Planning Understand the prompt 5 minutes Read carefully, identify key terms, and underline important instructions.
Planning Brainstorm and Outline 10 minutes Jot down ideas, then structure them into an outline with a thesis statement and main points for each body paragraph.
Research Gather Information 5 minutes Focus on relevant and credible sources, and use online resources efficiently. Don't get bogged down in details.
Writing Draft the Body Paragraphs 15 minutes Focus on getting your points across clearly. Use topic sentences, evidence, and transitions. Don't worry about perfect grammar or style yet.
Writing Introduction & Conclusion 5 minutes Write a strong hook for the introduction and summarize your main points in the conclusion.

How Can You Write an Essay as Fast as Possible

We discussed a few tips to write an essay fast, but they may still not be enough for everyone to do their essay quickly. There are many reasons why it can get difficult: you struggle to understand the essay topic and the main idea of it, you lack motivation, you overthink an essay prompt, you get constantly distracted, etc. Sometimes we all feel that way, and it's normal, but to make writing your last-minute essay easier, we should overcome those feelings.

fast essay writing

So, let's dive deeper into how to write an essay fast to help you with the paper you completely overlooked.

Step 1. Get Rid of Distractions and Plan Your Time

Taming the writing beast can be challenging, especially with distractions lurking around every corner. So, let’s equip you with strategies to eliminate distractions and craft a time management plan to turn you into a focused, productive writing machine. 

Hint 💡 Description 🕰️ Benefit ⚡
Silence the Sirens 🤫 Turn off phone notifications, silence social media apps, and consider using website blockers. Blocks digital distractions, allowing you to immerse yourself in writing fully.
Set up a Writing Sanctuary 🖊️ Find a quiet, clutter-free space dedicated solely to writing. Consider using noise-canceling headphones or calming music to block out external disturbances. Creates a focused environment that fosters concentration.
Embrace the Pomodoro Technique ✍️ Set a timer for 25 minutes of focused writing, followed by a short break. Repeat this cycle to maintain focus while allowing for necessary mental breaks. Promotes sustained focus and prevents burnout.
Plan Your Attack 🕰️ Before writing, create an outline that breaks down your essay into manageable sections. Schedule realistic writing sessions for each section. Provides a roadmap for your essay, ensuring you stay on track and avoid writer's block.
Reward Yourself 🎁 After completing a writing session or achieving a milestone, indulge in a short reward like a healthy snack or a quick walk. Positive reinforcement motivates you to stay productive and keeps the writing process enjoyable.

Step 2. Write First Ideas Which Spring up in Your Mind

While reading an essay question carefully, start making a note of the very first ideas that pop up in your mind. This way, you'll have a view of what to write about. Then start analyzing the thesis statement, highlight the major points of the key sentences you want to discuss and then choose which ideas fit best to them.

Don't overthink the statement. To write essays faster, you need to have a concise view of what you are writing about from the very beginning. You don't have much time, so do not spend any of it on overthinking.

Step 3. Elaborate a Plan to Write an Essay Fast

If you have ever had only an hour left to write your essay or are now in that situation, you're lucky to be here reading this. It's entirely possible to do your paper in an hour, and we'll show you an essential step-by-step plan on how to write an essay fast.

But before planning the whole essay, you have to choose your topic. This is a no-brainer, but people are often stuck at this point. If you have the freedom to choose your own topic, determine the kind of theme you are familiar with and can discuss without having to spend much time on research. But if you have several topics, choose the one on which you can deliver a more in-depth analysis.

Now let's move to the next steps on how to plan the process to write an essay fast.

Step 4. Conduct a Research

Conducting research may seem difficult when you have an hour for the whole essay, but don't worry. You can manage that too! You already have the topic and the thoughts around it, and now you need a little research. So be brief and concise, look for the specific information that you're definitely using in your paper, and don't waste time on general concepts. To write an essay fast, you have to conduct research faster.

While searching on the internet, save bookmarks of your needed pages. This will serve not to start looking for the information all over.

Do these tips to write an essay fast make enough sense for you yet?! Anyways, don't pressure yourself! If it's manageable for others to write essay fast, then it is for you too. So read through carefully, act according to this plan, and you'll make it.

Step 5. Make an Outline

Before you start writing:

  • Create an outline of your ideas, and organize your thoughts around the theme.
  • Write down your words on paper and determine how they are logically connected.
  • List your ideas and relate them to the larger concepts.

This way, you can have a general structure for your paper and step forward to write an essay fast. Regardless of how much effort and time you put into the work, it's useless if you can't organize your thoughts.

Now that you have an essay topic and the main idea around it, you can think of creating the thesis statement. Refer to the outlines you noted and try to express the major points of your essay with them. The statement will have two parts - outlining the topic and outlining the objective of your essay.

Now you are one step closer to mastering how to write essays quickly. Several steps to go, and you're all done!

Step 6. Write a Draft with Key Sentences for Each Paragraph

You should develop your arguments in the body and turn every idea you outlined before into separate paragraphs. Remember that each of the sections should have the same format. Start to incorporate your primary ideas into the opening sentence. After that, add your secondary supporting ideas to it. Also, do not forget to use proper sentence format.

You should clearly explain your topic in key sentences to strengthen the arguments. Every paragraph should contain supporting evidence, main points, and summarizing sentences.

Does it seem easier now to write an essay fast? Then, let us make it completely manageable for you with further steps.

Want to research how Steve Jobs revolutionized the world?

Discussing how Steve Jobs shaped modern technology makes a perfect research paper. Our writers are ready to make it even more perfect!

Step 7. Intro: Start with a Hook

After finishing the previous steps, then it is time to write an introduction. But how will you introduce something that hasn't been created yet? It may be unusual to write the beginning after you've already got the middle part, but it makes sense. Now that you have your thesis and arguments on paper, you can take the interesting elements and turn them into an attention-grabbing intro. Write a hook preceding it - it can be statistical information, a dialogue, a relevant anecdote, a quote, or just some fact, but it has to tie in with your thesis.

Also, if it's more comfortable to think of the hook first and then about the other parts, you're free to do so. Starting with the hook can help your creative process, but don't think too much about it. This way is more adjustable when you don't need to search for ‘how to write an essay quickly’ and have enough time to spend on it.

Step 8. Make a Strong Conclusion

Writing the conclusion paragraph is an important part of making a clear expression of everything you wrote above that. It is your opportunity to reinforce the thesis. Restate the arguments to leave the reader with something interesting to think about. It should be 3-5 strong conclusive sentences that place the whole information into a broader context. Don't forget to avoid introducing new points or ideas in your conclusion,

The introduction and conclusion is often the hardest part to write. So, you should save both for last, especially when you want to write an essay fast. It will take all of your time if you start thinking about them in the beginning when you haven't discussed any arguments yet. When you have the body paragraphs of your essay, it should be much easier to write a summarized conclusion and introduction.

Step 9. Check Everything

If you just typed ‘how to write an essay quickly’ and now reading this, then you already know you have to review your paper besides how much time you have before the deadline. So you always have to keep extra minutes to revise your work.

Check if there are any grammatical errors, if the paragraphs are in order - the main argument should be the first and last paragraph in your body, or if your work makes sense at all. These little elements affect the quality of your essay, especially the one you're writing in an hour.

This is the ultimate guide and your last step in learning to write an essay fast. Just don't panic and set your mind on doing it properly.

How to Write 500 Word Essay Fast

The essay writing process isn't so easy, especially when you want it done quickly. But it doesn't mean it's impossible. For example, have you ever wondered how to write a 500 word essay fast? If you are reading this article, you already have the answer. The previous examples we examined about writing papers faster are also adjustable to 500-word essays.

Let's do a small recap! First, decide on an interesting topic you want to write about, but don't overthink it. Instead, choose the one you know more about. Secondly, make a quick, basic outline of your thoughts and thesis statements. Then start working on your body paragraph, and lastly, do your introduction and conclusion. You can read above how to do each of these steps very easily.

In addition, you might be writing an SAT paper. In this case, you can apply these tips to the writing process with specific needs.

How to Write a Research Essay Fast

If you ever looked up 'how to write a research essay fast' and couldn't manage to find the solution through research, then we're here to help you out.

While writing a research paper requires a lot of effort—from developing a compelling thesis to locating relevant literature—doing so may be more fun if you select a topic you are passionate about. In addition, you have an opportunity to consider other people's discoveries and draw your own conclusions about what they signify.

Most essays have specifics that should be considered to be worth a good grade. If you don't know these needs, it can be difficult for you to complete the task properly. So then, what's your answer to it? Are you just sitting there wondering, 'how can I get research paper writing help ?' If you still haven't found the way, click on it, and there is your solution.

Pros and Cons of Writing an Essay Fast

As with everything else, writing your paper fast has its positive and negative sides too.

Pros and Cons of Writing an Essay Fast

Let's start with the cons:

  • When writing fast, you may not leave yourself the time for proofreading and editing the work, which will lead to not a very good essay and a satisfactory grade.
  • Knowing that the deadline is coming closer can pressure you while preventing the creative process which can be destructive for your essay.
  • Time spent on each part of the paper may not be enough or correctly distributed, which can mess with essay structure.

Pros of writing essay fast:

  • The positive side of writing an argumentative essay fast is that now you know how to do it and don't need much time to waste.
  • You are always on time for deadlines when you know how to write a good essay fast.
  • Improves your time management skills.

So, It's entirely possible to write a good essay fast. For example, if you need to know how to write a process analysis essay, consider what we have already discussed above, and just like that, you are left with a great piece in a very short period!

Sometimes, writing an essay fast is impossible because of writer’s block, fatigue, or a lack of free time. You’re not alone in this, as thousands of students feel the same way and experience the same difficulties every semester. How do they manage such hurdles? The best way to put the finger on urgent writing assignments is to use a professional service where real human writers commit to original, captivating papers for students. 

Need urgent writing assistance?

Contact our experts to get a perfect paper tailored to your requirements!

Can I Write an Essay in 2 Hours?

Can i write a 1000-word essay in 1 hour.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how to learn an essay fast

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • Updated writing tips.
  • Added informative tables.
  • How to write faster essays? (n.d.). The Student Room.
  • Buffet, A. (2021, June 14). How To Write An Essay Fast In An Exam - Youth Incorporated Magazine. Youth Incorporated Magazine.

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How to Write an Essay in Under 30 Minutes

Last Updated: December 19, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Arash Fayz . Arash Fayz is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of LA Tutors 123, an academic consulting and private tutoring company based in Los Angeles, California. Arash has over 10 years of educational consulting experience, managing the tutoring of students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to score higher on standardized tests and gain admission to their target schools. He has a BA in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 603,316 times.

If you’re taking your SATs this year, you may be preparing to write a solid essay within the 30 minute time limit. Or you might be trying to improve your writing speed to complete essay exams faster and more efficiently. Writing a five paragraph essay in under 30 minutes can seem daunting, but with the right planning and time management, it is certainly achievable.

Sample Essays

how to learn an essay fast

Planning the Essay

Step 1 Spend 10 minutes planning the essay.

  • For example, you may get a prompt in the form of quotation: “Time has a doomsday book, on whose pages he is continually recording illustrious names. But as often as a new name is written there, an old one disappears. Only a few stand in illuminated characters never to be effaced.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [3] X Research source
  • You may then receive a question attached to the prompt: “Are there some heroes who will be remembered forever? Or are all heroes doomed to be forgotten one day?" Plan your response, and then write an essay to explain your views on this issue. Be sure to support your position with specific points and examples. You may use personal examples or examples from your reading, observations, or, knowledge of subjects such as history, literature, science. [4] X Research source

Step 3 Brainstorm your thesis...

  • For example, you may brainstorm the Longfellow quote/question by thinking of personal examples of heroes who are remembered or forgotten, such as family members, friends, teachers, or peers who have acted as heroes to you or to others. Or you may focus on a historical figure who seems to be a forgotten hero or a decorated hero.
  • This essay question is asking for two sides of the discussion, the forgotten hero and the remembered hero. Your thesis should discuss both sides and choose one side to argue for or against.
  • You may choose to spotlight a historical figure who encountered opposition and challenges in her life, such as the suffragette Susan B. Anthony. Anthony worked tirelessly for decades to get the government to recognize women’s right to vote, and was often derided by the government and by individuals within her own organization. She is a good example of a hero who was not recognized as a trailblazer until late in her life, though she is now remembered as a heroine in history. Try to refer back to the quotation in the essay prompt in your thesis, if possible, to show you have read the entire question.
  • A possible thesis statement could be: “Though Longfellow argues that names, or heroes, may be forgotten over time, one historical figure, Susan B. Anthony, was derided in her lifetime for her beliefs but is now remembered as a heroine of her time.”

Step 4 Create an outline.

  • Introduction: Your beginning paragraph should contain an engaging first sentence and your thesis statement. Some writers find it easier to write create a temporary introduction and revise it once they are finished with the essay. This will ensure the introduction is cohesive with the rest of the essay.
  • Conclusion: This paragraph should summarize your main argument and restate your thesis. You may also want to include last thoughts around the essay question.

Writing the Essay

Step 1 Take 15 minutes to write the essay.

  • Try to spend two to three minutes on each body paragraph. Then, take three minutes on your conclusion paragraph and go back to your introduction. Spend the last three minutes revising your introduction so it matches the tone and perspective of the rest of your essay.

Step 2 Use a hook in your introduction.

  • An interesting or surprising example: This could be a personal experience or a key moment in the life of the historical figure you are discussing in your essay. For example, you may discuss Anthony’s childhood as a Quaker and her later adoption of more casual dress and growing interest in social reform at the age of 26. [9] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • A provocative quotation: This could be from a source you used for your essay or one that feels relevant to your topic. For example, you may use a well known quote from Anthony, such as: “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” [10] X Research source
  • A vivid anecdote: An anecdote is a very short story that carries moral or symbolic weight. Think of an anecdote that might be a poetic or powerful way to start your essay.
  • A thought provoking question: create a question that will get your reader thinking and engaged in your topic. For example: “Did you ever wonder how women received the right to vote in the United States?”

Step 3 Write your three body paragraphs.

  • Body paragraph 1: You may start by discussing Anthony’s early successes. Look at the establishment of the Women’s Loyal National League in 1863 by Anthony and Stanton. As the first national women’s political organization in the United States, it had a membership of 5000 and provided a platform for women to speak out on issues like slavery and women’s right to vote. [11] X Research source
  • Body paragraph 2: You may discuss Anthony’s mid career struggles. Look at the split in the women’s movement in May 1869, with the establishment of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) by Anthony and Stanton, and the rival American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Note how after the Civil War, Anthony devoted her time and life to the suffrage movement, assuming leadership of the NWSA in 1890 and continuing to advocate for women’s rights. Anthony also remained unmarried, which gave her an advantage under the law, as married women at the time were not permitted to sign official documents and had to defer to their husbands. [12] X Research source
  • Body paragraph 3: You may discuss Anthony’s later life, including her many speaking engagements throughout the United States on the need for women’s suffrage and equal rights. Though Anthony died in 1906, and did not live to see the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, affording women the right to vote in the United States in 1920, her forty years of tireless work paved the way for the legal precedent and gave women a strong sense of empowerment and equality. [13] X Research source

Step 4 Summarize your thoughts in your conclusion.

  • For example, you may restate your thesis: “Throughout her life, Susan B. Anthony’s sacrificed her time, energy, and personal livelihood to advocate for women’s rights, proving that though many heroes may be forgotten, their actions will live on in history.”

Editing the Essay

Step 1 Use the last five minutes to proofread your essay.

  • For example, an essay on Susan B. Anthony could have the title: “An Unsung Heroine” or “Susan B. Anthony: An Advocate for Change”.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

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About This Article

Arash Fayz

In order to successfully write an essay in under 30 minutes, you need to plan it out and work efficiently. Take a good 10 minutes to plan out the essay and come up with a thesis statement that will convey your argument and help guide your essay. It may seem like a large chunk of your time, but it will save you from having to rewrite or restructure your essay later on. Then, take 15 minutes to write your introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Use the last 5 minutes to proofread your essay and look for spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Don’t worry about coming up with a title until you’re finished. It will be much easier then. For tips about how to edit an essay you write in under 30 minutes, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write an Essay Quickly: 7 Speedy Steps to Success

How to Write an Essay Quickly: 7 Speedy Steps to Success

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

Learn about our Editorial Process

Do you think you could write a 2000 word essay in 2 hours? How about a 20 page paper overnight? What if it’s getting into the small hours of the last night before due date and you’re starting with … 3 hastily written paragraphs? A title? A blank page? There’s hope. Let’s take a close look at how to write an essay quickly with 7 easy steps.

I’m going to save the lecture about how you should not have gotten yourself into this situation for another day. Right now, there’s more pressing matters. The essay itself.

It’s time to get started. There’s no time to waste.

Below, I have outlined 7 straightforward steps on how to write an essay quickly. Be warned: this list is full of shortcuts and emergency measures. It’s not the best way to do things, but it’s the best way to do it in your situation.

So here goes. Buckle in and get going on these 7 speedy steps to getting that paper written. I hope you’ve poured yourself a coffee:

1. Hack your teacher’s lecture slides

If I had 2 hours to write a 2000-word essay, this is exactly where I’d start – every time.

The lecture slides are your cheat sheet. They’re a summary of your teacher’s (yes – the one who will be marking your piece) thoughts on the issues. It’s literally a teacher’s translation of the content. They’ve read it, taught it to themselves, then put together slides translating the content into a way that they – your marker – thinks is relevant .

That’s the closest to a cheat sheet you’ll ever get off these people. So use it to write your essay quickly.

Go onto your course’s webpage (Canvas? Blackboard? Moodle?) and download the lecture slides for every week that seems slightly relevant. You know? The weeks where:

  • Your teacher introduced the key theorist, scientist or scholar behind an idea;
  • Your teacher explained the ideas you need to write about;
  • Your teacher analysed different perspectives on that ideas.

It might be one week’s slides, it might be ten week’s slides. But you need to download them and start reviewing them.

Each time you find a point that you think is relevant to your assessment outline or question, quickly make a note of what key point is being made.

Also write down any ideas that come to mind that might fit into the essay. I find when I review lecture slides more ideas come to mind to add in.

If your lecture hasn’t provided lecture slides, some other places to look for ideas on what to write in your paper include:

  • Your own lecture notes ;
  • Readings your teacher set for you;
  • Any online videos, websites or other content your teacher provided.

2. Write down ten to fifteen key points to discuss

Hopefully your research in step 1 got you a lot of key points written down so you’re off to a hasty start to writing your essay quickly.

Now’s your time to brainstorm – are there any other interesting points you can make about the topic that come to mind after reviewing the course materials?

Aim to gather between ten and fifteen key points. Anywhere less than 10, you’re not likely to have enough to say unless you’ve got a paper that’s less than 2000 words. Anywhere over 15, your teacher’s mind is going to wander while they go through all your ideas!

These points can be scrawled all over a piece of paper or listed on a word document, but make sure they’re written down!

Once you’ve got 10 to 15 key points, it’s time to list them in order of relevance. What’s the most relevant or useful or informative thing you want to say? Put that first. Then go down the list, so your best ideas are at the top.

3. Turn each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph

Starting from the top of your list of 10 to 15 points to discuss, start turning each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph. This is the ideal paragraph length to obtain depth without losing your reader’s attention.

In each paragraph make sure you mention:

  • A topic sentence that explains exactly what your key point is.
  • An explanation sentence (or two) that adds detail to your first point.
  • An example sentence showing how the idea or point would link to the real-life.

You can keep expanding on that key idea if you want – but limit it to about 6 sentences max. Otherwise you’ll put your marker to sleep – who ever wants to read a super long paragraph!?

Make sure each key point is given one 4 – 6 sentence paragraph at least. You might find each key point needs two or three paragraphs to explain everything in enough detail.

4. Use readings while writing your paragraphs.

When providing explanations of your key points, go back to where you found these key points. What is the source? Did your teacher note on the lecture slides where this information comes from? If so, you’ll need to reference those sources in your paragraphs.

Then, add in more references from:

  • The Assigned Readings. Start referencing the set readings that your teacher provided. Go to the course’s webpage and download all the set readings for weeks relevant to your assessment topic. If you download your assigned readings and open them with Adobe Acrobat, you’ll be able to use the search function to find the exact key ideas you’re looking for. For example, if your topic is on “Issues of doctor-patient confidentiality in modern medicine”, you might search through your set readings for “confidentiality” in order to find the right sections of your readings where you could find explanations that you can use and reference in the piece. Aim to cite each relevant reading that was provided by your teacher at least once in the piece.
  • Google Scholar. You’ll also need to cite some other scholarly readings . I recommend going to google scholar and type in the keywords from your key idea. For example, if your key idea is “Climate change causes sea temperatures to rise”, you would want to type into the google scholar search bar: “Climate change” and “sea temperatures”. Find sources that have direct links to the pdf or html document of the text – these are sources that aren’t hidden behind paywalls. Make sure you get a good number of additional readings from google scholar (I usually aim for 50% assigned readings, 50% additional readings).

You might also want to make sure you have least one – preferably two –references per paragraph. If you have included two references, aim to reference two different sources rather than the one source twice.

5. Write a compelling Introduction and Conclusion

Keep an eye on that word count.

Hopefully for each paragraph you write you see that wordcount jumping by about 150 to 200 words. Before long you’ll be at 500, 800, 1400 words!

Make sure you stop writing when you get within 300 words of the word limit (about one page if you’ve been given a page limit). You’re going to want to use the last 300 words or so for creating an amazing introduction and conclusion.

If you hit the desired word count but don’t get around to some key points, that’s okay. We sorted the points from most to least relevant in Step 2 for just this reason: the ones you miss will be the least relevant, anyway.

Now, write your introduction.

A compelling introduction should:

  • Identify the key focus or argument of the essay in the first sentence
  • Explain the topic’s relevance. Why is it worth discussing at this particular time? What value does it have for your future profession?
  • Let your reader know what you plan on saying in the piece.

Then write your conclusion .

A compelling conclusion should:

  • Summarize your key points
  • Explain how your key points support your argument and/or address the essay question
  • Identify any contradictions , limitations or questions that remain unanswered within the topic area. What is the future direction of research into this topic in the next 5, 10 or 20 years?

Use the above bullet points to formulate your introduction and conclusion . Again, aim for 4 to 6 sentences (150 words or so) for the introduction and about 4 to 6 sentences for the conclusion. Make sure in the introduction and conclusion that you show your reader you have a good bird’s eye understanding of the topic you are covering and its relevance to real life.

6. Fix up that Reference List

Your reference list is probably a mess. It’s not likely to be in the correct referencing format that you need it to be in.

Thanks to Google Scholar, this part is a heck of a lot easier than it was ten years ago.

Here’s what you do:

  • Type the name of each source that you reference into the Google Scholar search bar
  • Find the source in the list that Google Scholar generates (it should be in the first few spots on the list.
  • Press the cite button underneath the source. A pop-up should appear showing how to cite the source in each referencing style.
  • Copy the citation and paste it into your paper’s reference list
  • Check to see if the citation is correct: are there any missing details?

Once you’ve listed all the sources you used in your reference list, you’ll need to sort them alphabetically. Highlight the whole reference list then sort it using:

  • Microsoft Word: The A>Z button under the ‘home’ menu

7. Edit it in the Morning

Once you’ve written a full draft, you’ve got a decision to make:

  • If the piece is due in the next few hours, you’ve got to crack on and start editing immediately;
  • If the piece is due tomorrow morning, give yourself permission to go to sleep. Having a break between writing and editing lets you look at your work with fresh eyes tomorrow. But, be prepared. In the morning you’ve still got some work to do.

Editing your work – even just once the morning before you submit – will earn you a big bump in your marks.

You probably will only have time to edit the work once, so I recommend this:

  • Print the work. Editing work on paper is far more effective than editing it on the screen. Errors jump out at you more if you’re reading it on paper.
  • Read through the work and cross out sentences that don’t make sense. Underline sentences that need rewording for clarity. Circle words that need to be changed or spell-checked.
  • The name of the game while editing is increasing clarity. If a sentence is too long, complicated or confusing when you’re editing it, you need to find a way to say it more clearly. Sometimes that means turning one sentence into two shorter sentences. That’s okay. A good way to find sentences that need shortening is to use the ProWritingAid app which produces a special report identifying sentences that are too long.
  • Once you’ve done scrawling your edits on the paper copy, jump onto the computer and go from the start: insert all the edits you wrote down on the paper copy into the computer copy.

This print-and-edit strategy is by far the most effective editing strategy. It dramatically increases the quality of any student’s work and bumps up their grades.

Editing your work is worthwhile, no matter how tight the deadline. It could be the difference between a C and a B or – even more importantly – a fail and a pass.

Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay

Dictionary Definitions in Essays

Look, let’s face it. You should have written it earlier.

But, there’s always still hope. Now’s the time for action – get those top ten points you want to say on the issue done, then keep following the steps to the end. You can do it!

Let’s sum up those seven key steps one more time:

  • Hack your teacher’s lecture slides
  • Write down ten to fifteen key points to discuss
  • Turn each point into a 4 to 6 sentence paragraph
  • Use readings while writing your paragraphs.
  • Write a compelling Introduction and Conclusion
  • Fix up that Reference List
  • Edit it in the Morning

If you’ve finished all the steps – Congratulations. You got through! Now make sure you don’t do it again with these strategies that can help you get started early on even the toughest paper. You might recognise some of them?


  • Chris Drew (PhD) 19 Top Cognitive Psychology Theories (Explained)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 119 Bloom’s Taxonomy Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) All 6 Levels of Understanding (on Bloom’s Taxonomy)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 15 Self-Actualization Examples (Maslow's Hierarchy)

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How to Write an Essay Fast and Submit a Winner Every Time (26 Effortless Hacks for Slow Writers)

Declan Gessel

Mar 21, 2024

woman helping a friend - How To Write An Essay Fast

Want to learn some good ways to start an essay and master the art of how to write an essay fast? Whether you're a procrastinator or just need to boost your writing speed, this blog will provide you with practical tips and strategies to help you efficiently craft a well-written essay in no time. From effective brainstorming techniques to time-saving editing tricks, buckle up as we dive into the secrets of writing a stellar essay quickly and effectively. Let's get started!

Table of Contents

How to write an essay fast, write smarter with jotbot — start writing for free today.

man writing an essay - How To Write An Essay Fast

Preparation Hacks

Deconstructing the essay prompt.

When faced with a time crunch, the first step for a slow writer is to deconstruct the essay prompt. Break it down into key requirements and questions that need to be answered. Identify keywords, understand the topic, and determine the desired approach. It is crucial to discern the purpose of the essay and who the audience is. This clarity will guide the writer in crafting a focused and relevant piece efficiently.

Create a "Simple Thesis" First

Crafting a basic 1-2 sentence thesis statement should be the next move. Put down your main argument or stance without overthinking it. The thesis can be refined later, but getting it on paper initially is essential to provide a clear direction for the essay. This simple thesis acts as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they delve into the essay.

Try Mind Mapping Instead of Outlining

Instead of traditional outlining, consider using a mind-mapping tool to visually organize ideas. Mind mapping is excellent for promoting divergent thinking and allowing ideas to flow naturally. This method can help in quickly generating ideas and connections, which can then be converted into a more traditional outline if desired. Mind mapping is a creative way to streamline the thought process and enhance productivity.

Dictate to a Word Processor with Voice Typing

When fatigue sets in, utilizing built-in voice typing in Word or Google Docs can be a game-changer. Simply activate the feature and speak your ideas aloud, allowing the tool to transcribe your words into text hands-free. Alternatively, employing a speech-to-text tool to verbally free-write can help ideas flow more naturally than typing. This method can serve as the foundation for your essay draft, enabling you to capture thoughts quickly and efficiently.

Related Reading

• How To Shorten An Essay • Essay Planning

Research Hacks

Utilize keyword modifiers for surgical searches on search engines.

To enhance your research efficiency, employ keyword modifiers when conducting searches on search engines. Utilize modifiers such as quotes, AND, OR, and more to refine your search results. By filtering for specific phrases, topics, and sources, you can pinpoint exactly what you need at a faster pace. 

Bookmark Relevant Websites as You Browse

Create a temporary "research" bookmark folder in your browser to save valuable resources as you navigate the web. Compile books, articles, videos, and other sources that are pertinent to your essay topic. This curated collection will serve as a quick and easy reference point during the writing process.

Elevating Writing Efficiency and Quality with Jotbot's AI Assistance

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Jotbot is your personal document assistant, offering AI note-taking, video summarizing, citation/source finding, outline creation, and even AI essay writing. Join over 500,000 writers, students, teams, and researchers worldwide to elevate your writing speed and quality with Jotbot.  Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

Leverage Wikipedia's Sources

Explore the sources cited in Wikipedia articles related to your essay topic. While vetting is crucial, these sources can lead you to valuable and credible references. By reviewing what quality sources are being cited, you can uncover hidden gems for your essay.

Capture Citation Details with Google Scholar

Utilize Google Scholar to access a plethora of academic sources for your essay. Easily identify and capture citation details from reputable publications. Vet and bookmark relevant sources on Google Scholar to streamline your research process.

Writing Hacks

Follow the classic five paragraph essay format.

The Classic Five Paragraph Essay Format is a lifesaver when time is of the essence. With a clear introduction, three body paragraphs, and a concise conclusion, this format provides a simple and effective structure for your essay. It streamlines the outlining process, making it easy to organize your thoughts and arguments logically. Plus, you can always adjust and expand on this format to suit your specific essay requirements.

"Upside Down" Writing: Start with the Conclusion

Starting with your conclusion paragraph might sound counterintuitive, but it's a game-changer when you're in a time crunch. By crafting your conclusion first, you establish your main argument and key points upfront. This allows you to reverse outline your body paragraphs to ensure they support your conclusion. It keeps you focused and on track, preventing you from straying off course.

Use Blueprint Sentences to Structure Paragraphs

Blueprint sentences act as guiding beacons for your paragraphs. By setting the tone with a topic sentence that outlines the main idea or argument of the paragraph, you provide a roadmap for both yourself and your readers. For example, "This essay will explore three reasons why X..." Then, unpack that blueprint by elaborating on each reason in the paragraph.

Apply the "They Say / I Say" Technique

To give your essay a compelling flow, consider using the "They Say / I Say" technique. Start by summarizing what others have said about your topic to provide context. Then, smoothly transition to your unique perspective by stating "I say..." This technique helps you engage in a dialogue with existing ideas and present your stance clearly and persuasively.

Channel Your Stream of Consciousness

Perfectionism and overthinking are the enemies of fast essay writing. Instead of getting bogged down by editing and refining as you write, let your thoughts flow freely. Embrace your stream of consciousness and allow yourself to riff on ideas. You can always revise and polish your essay later. The key is to get your initial thoughts down on paper without getting caught up in perfectionism.

Editing Hacks

Reverse outline after your first draft.

When reviewing your draft, create a reverse outline by identifying key points and the logical flow of your essay. This outline will help you rearrange content as needed, ensuring a coherent structure and seamless transitions between ideas.

Watch for Repetitive "To Be" Verbs

Scan your essay for instances of "is/am/are/were/been/will be" to avoid passive voice. Passive voice can make your writing less clear and bog down the reader. Instead, opt for the active voice to instantly tighten your writing and vary your phrasing, making it more engaging and dynamic.

Eliminate Flabby Words and Phrases

Cut the fluff by removing filler words like "really, very, just, quite" and identifying bloated phrases such as "due to the fact that." Condense your phrasing to be more concise and impactful, reducing friction in your essay and keeping your reader engaged with clear and direct language.

Read Your Essay Out Loud

Reading your essay out loud, or using a text-to-speech tool, can be a game-changer. This practice helps catch unclear phrasing, highlights any abrupt tonal shifts or flow issues, and is instrumental for achieving tight, logical writing. By hearing your words, you can pinpoint areas that may need revision and ensure a polished final product.

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Productivity Hacks

Maximizing focus with the pomodoro time management technique.

Utilizing the Pomodoro Technique can significantly enhance your essay writing process. By breaking your work into focused 25-minute intervals called "pomodoros," you can maintain a high level of concentration. After each pomodoro, take a short break to refresh your mind. This technique helps prevent burnout and maintains a steady momentum in your writing.

Enhancing Concentration with Instrumental Music

To tune out distractions and maintain focus while writing your essay, consider listening to instrumental music. Ambient and unobtrusive sounds can create a conducive environment for deep work. Sources like instrumental playlists, video game soundtracks, or classical music can provide a soothing background that helps you concentrate better.

Optimizing Efficiency by Setting Firm Deadlines

Setting a firm deadline earlier than your actual due date can boost your productivity and efficiency. By working backwards from this self-imposed deadline, you can segment your tasks effectively. Schedule time for research, drafting, revising, and editing to ensure a structured and well-paced writing process. This approach helps alleviate procrastination and increases your motivation to meet deadlines.

Recharging with Intentional, Timed Breaks

Rest is crucial to maintaining mental clarity and avoiding burnout during the essay writing process. Taking short 5-10 minute breaks every hour allows your mind to recharge and stay fresh. These brief pauses help prevent fatigue, enhance productivity, and improve overall cognitive function. Breaks are not a luxury but a necessity for sustained focus and efficiency.

Motivational Hacks

Visualizing success to boost motivation.

When the blank page feels daunting and the words just won't flow, picture your professor's impressed expression as they read your essay. Envision the nod of approval, the impressed smile, and the mental note of your insightful ideas. This visualization technique can serve as a powerful motivator to push through tough moments. Knowing that your hard work and unique perspective are being appreciated can fuel your determination to keep going, leading to a sense of accomplishment and pride in your work.

Post-Submission Relief and Pride for Mental Reward

After hitting the submit button, there's a wave of relief and pride that washes over you. The satisfaction of knowing that you put your best effort into your essay and submitted quality work is a significant mental reward. This feeling of accomplishment can boost your confidence and motivation for future assignments. Embrace the sense of pride that comes from completing a task to the best of your ability, as it can be a powerful driver to maintain focus and dedication throughout the writing process.

Promising Yourself a Reward for Motivation

Treat yourself to a well-deserved reward after completing your essay. Whether it's a delicious meal, a show you've been wanting to watch, or an outing with friends, promising yourself a reward can be a powerful motivator. Setting a tangible incentive for finishing the task can help you stay focused and driven, knowing that something enjoyable awaits you upon completion. Use this as a tool to reinforce positive behavior and maintain motivation when faced with challenging writing tasks.

Enhancing Writing Speed with Tech Tools: Grammar & Plagiarism Checkers

In the quest to write an essay swiftly, utilizing tech tools like grammar and plagiarism checkers can be a game-changer. Tools such as Jotbot, Grammarly, Quetext, and Turnitin can significantly expedite the proofreading and plagiarism detection process. By running your drafts through these tools, you can quickly identify grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and potential instances of plagiarism.

Streamlining Editing with Grammar and Plagiarism Checkers

Grammar checkers like Grammarly not only highlight errors but also offer suggestions for improvement, making the editing process more efficient. Similarly, plagiarism checkers such as Quetext and Turnitin can swiftly scan your content against a vast database to ensure originality and integrity in your work. By leveraging these tools, slow writers can save valuable time that would otherwise be spent manually combing through their essays.

Essay Writing Efficiency with Technology

When striving to write an essay fast, incorporating these grammar and plagiarism checkers into your workflow can streamline the editing process and enhance the overall quality of your writing. By harnessing the power of technology, writers can boost their productivity and efficiency, ultimately producing well-crafted essays in less time.

Experimenting with AI Writing Assistants (with Caution!)

AI writing assistants have emerged as valuable tools for writers looking to expedite the writing process. Platforms like ChatGPT and Jotbot leverage artificial intelligence to assist with brainstorming, outlining, and even generating initial drafts. By tapping into the capabilities of AI, writers can access instant suggestions, structure their ideas more effectively, and kickstart their writing process.

Use of AI Writing Assistants with Caution

It is crucial to exercise caution when using AI writing assistants. While these tools can offer valuable support, it is essential to fact-check the information provided, personalize the content to align with your voice and style, and ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the final output. AI should be viewed as a complement to human creativity and expertise, rather than a complete replacement. By incorporating AI writing assistants into your writing toolkit, you can potentially overcome writer's block, generate ideas more efficiently, and accelerate the essay writing process. Embracing these technological advancements can empower writers to enhance their productivity and achieve their writing goals with greater ease.

Writing Efficiency and Quality with Jotbot's AI-Powered Assistance

Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays, and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.  Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

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Jotbot is a revolutionary tool that leverages artificial intelligence to assist users in various aspects of the writing process. With features like AI note-taking, video summarization, citation and source finding, outline generation, and even full essay writing capabilities, Jotbot streamlines the writing process for over 500,000 writers, students, teams, and researchers worldwide. By integrating Jotbot into your writing routine, you can enhance your productivity, efficiency, and overall writing quality.  Start your journey towards more effective writing by signing in with Google and experiencing the power of Jotbot for free today.

Mastering the Art of Efficient Essay Outlining

One of the key strategies for writing essays quickly is effective outlining. Begin by clearly defining your thesis statement, main arguments, and supporting evidence. Utilize Jotbot's AI outline feature to automate this process and create a structured framework for your essay. By organizing your thoughts and ideas in a logical manner, you can expedite the writing process and ensure a cohesive and coherent essay.

Harnessing AI for Citation and Source Finding

Research is a critical component of essay writing, but it can also be a time-consuming task. Jotbot's AI citation and source finder simplifies this process by scanning through vast databases to locate relevant sources and generate accurate citations. By automating the citation process, you can save valuable time and focus on crafting your arguments and analysis.

Utilizing AI Essay Writing for Speed and Quality

Writing the actual essay is where many individuals struggle to meet deadlines. Jotbot's AI essay writer is a game-changer in this regard, as it can generate well-structured and coherent essays based on your outlined framework and provided information. By collaborating with Jotbot's AI essay writer, you can produce high-quality essays in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take, allowing you to meet tight deadlines with ease.

Writing Smarter, Not Harder with Jotbot

Incorporating Jotbot into your writing arsenal is the key to writing smarter, not harder. By harnessing the power of AI technology for note-taking, outlining, citation finding, and essay writing, you can streamline your writing process, boost your productivity, and elevate the quality of your work. Join the ranks of successful writers who rely on Jotbot to write faster, better, and more efficiently.  Sign in with Google today and unleash the full potential of your writing prowess with Jotbot .

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Master the Art of Writing Essays Quickly with Our Step-by-Step Guide

Mar 22, 2024 | 0 comments

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Mar 22, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

In today’s fast-paced academic world, the ability to write an essay quickly and efficiently is a valuable skill. Whether you’re facing a deadline or simply want to boost your productivity, knowing how to write an essay fast can make all the difference. By mastering strategies such as proper planning, effective time management, and efficient writing techniques, you can tackle any essay with confidence and ease. In this article, we will explore some top tips and tricks for writing an essay in record time. From creating a solid outline to utilizing research shortcuts, we will cover everything you need to know to streamline your writing process and produce high-quality essays in no time. So, if you’re ready to unlock the secrets of how to write an essay fast, read on for expert advice and practical guidance.

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Pros and Cons of Writing an Essay Fast

Writing an essay fast can be both a blessing and a curse for students. On one hand, it’s a precious skill that can save you in situations with tight deadlines. But on the other, rushing too much can compromise the quality of your work. Let’s look at some key pros and cons:

  • Pro: Meets Tight Deadlines The biggest advantage of being able to write essays quickly is ensuring you can submit your work on time even with a looming deadline. This prevents late penalties and gives you a completed essay to turn in.
  • Con: Potential for Lower Quality When you’re rushing to get an essay done fast, it’s easy to make careless mistakes, overlook key requirements, or produce generally sloppy work that doesn’t reflect your full capabilities. You’ll need to proofread extra carefully.
  • Pro: Practices Time Management Having to plan, write, and edit an essay in a compressed timeframe pushes you to practice essential time management skills like setting a schedule and sticking to it. This gets easier with practice.
  • Con: Less Time for Depth/Development An obvious downside of fast essay writing is less opportunity to fully explore a topic in-depth, carefully examine counterarguments, or develop a truly insightful analysis. You’ll need to prioritize what’s most essential.

Creating a Timed Plan

When you need to write an essay fast, creating a timed plan is crucial for staying focused and ensuring you complete the whole essay within your limited timeframe. Here are some key tips for mapping out an effective writing schedule:

  • Set a Total Time Limit First, determine your overall time budget for writing the essay from start to finish. This could be an hour, 90 minutes, or whatever time constraint you’re working under. Be realistic but firm with this limit.
  • Break it into Segments Next, divide that total time into smaller segments allocated for specific tasks – brainstorming, outlining, writing the body paragraphs, the introduction and conclusion, and revising. Maybe spend 10 minutes brainstorming, 5 minutes outlining, 20 minutes per body paragraph, etc.
  • Start with the Body. You’ll want to spend the bulk of your time on the three body paragraphs since these form the core of your essay and thesis statement. Don’t worry about the introduction yet – get the supporting evidence written first.
  • Use a Timer Once you have your schedule mapped out, use a timer or stopwatch to strictly stick to the time limits for each segment. When the timer goes off for one task, move immediately to the next.
  • Leave the Last 5 Minutes Always leave 5-10 minutes at the very end for a final once-over. Read through to ensure the essay flows well, fix any glaring typos, and do a general structure check.

Outline Quickly

When you’re short on time, spending too long formally outlining can slow down your essay-writing process. That’s why doing a quick, barebones outline is better for fast essays. Here’s how to do it efficiently:

  • Start with the Prompt: Read the essay prompt or question carefully first to make sure you understand exactly what you’re being asked. Underline or highlight any key terms you’ll need to address.
  • Brainstorm Briefly: Do a quick 2-3 minute brainstorming session to jot down your initial thoughts and ideas related to the prompt. Don’t worry about order or completeness yet.
  • Craft the Thesis: From your brainstorming notes, craft one clear, concise sentence that expresses the main argument or position you plan to take in the essay. This becomes your working thesis statement.
  • Note Key Points: Next, spend just 2-3 more minutes and quickly list out the 2-4 main points or chunks of supporting evidence you’ll use in the body paragraphs to back up your thesis.
  • That’s It! Now you have all the essential ingredients – a focused thesis responding to the prompt, and your main points to cover in the body. No need for a more detailed outline at this stage.

Read the question carefully

Read the question carefully

Reading the essay question or prompt carefully is one of the most important steps when you’re trying to write an essay fast. Misunderstanding or missing key details in the prompt can derail your entire essay and waste valuable time. Here’s why this step is so crucial:

  • Identify the Instructions: The prompt will contain specific instructions on what you’re expected to write about and accomplish in the essay. For example, it may ask you to argue a particular stance, analyze a concept or idea, compare and contrast two things, etc. Be crystal clear on the task.
  • Note Any Restrictions: Some prompts may restrict certain things like the examples you can use, the minimum or maximum number of body paragraphs required, or the rhetorical style. Missing these restrictions can make your essay insufficient.
  • Watch for Key Terms: Within the prompt, there are often key terms, concepts, names, or phrases that are central to addressing the essay topic effectively. Underlining or circling these cues ensures you incorporate and properly define them.
  • Determine the Parameters: Essay length requirements, formatting guidelines, or other parameters are sometimes included in the prompt itself. Don’t overlook these specifications or you may lose points.
  • Brainstorm Quickly: Once you’ve carefully read and understood the prompt, spend just 1-2 minutes rapidly brainstorming your initial thoughts and how you may want to respond. This activates your thinking before outlining.

Write the Body First

When you need to write a paper fast, one of the best tips is to start writing the body paragraphs first. This allows you to focus on writing the easiest and most crucial part of the essay before anything else.

  • Use Your Outline: You’ve already spent valuable time brainstorming and creating an outline for your key points. This makes a great jump-off point – you’re going to expand each of those bullet points into a full body paragraph.
  • Don’t Worry About Orde r: You don’t need to write the body paragraphs in order from first to last. Instead, start with whichever concept you’re most comfortable writing about to build momentum. You can rearrange their order later if needed.
  • Stay On Point: For each paragraph, you’ll require one to three specific examples, quotes, or statistical information that support the main idea you’re conveying. Avoid introducing new tangents that stray from the point.
  • Write Quickly: The goal when writing your body paragraphs is to get your evidence and analysis down as quickly as possible. You can always revise and tighten up sentences later during editing if you have time.
  • Use Transitions: Don’t forget to help your essay flow logically between body paragraphs by employing transition words and phrases like “additionally,” “in contrast,” etc.

Proofread as you go along

When you’re trying to write essays faster, one helpful strategy is to proofread as you go along instead of waiting until the end. This may seem counterintuitive when you’re short on time, but it can save time and help you write a stronger essay more efficiently.

  • Catch Mistakes Early: If you proofread each paragraph shortly after you’ve finished writing it, you’re more likely to catch embarrassing typos, grammar mistakes, or confusing sentences right away. Fixing them in the moment prevents having to re-read the whole essay later hunting for errors.
  • Stay On Track: By giving your paragraph’s key sentences a quick once-over as you go, you’ll ensure the writing still flows logically and doesn’t drift away from the main point you’re trying to make. It’s easier to course-correct at the moment.
  • Maintain Your Tone: Whether you’re writing a casual or formal essay, maintaining a consistent voice and tone throughout is important. Proofreading as you write each section makes it easier to keep your voice cohesive instead of accidentally switching styles partway through.
  • Manage Your Timing: While you shouldn’t spend too much time obsessively re-reading the same paragraph, giving it a quick proofread enables you to write essays faster overall. You’ll feel confident moving forward instead of lingering too long.
  • Make Notes for Later: If you notice a section needs more work but you’ve left little time, just make a note to return to it. That way you can finish writing the rest of the essay first while flagging areas for deeper revision.

It’s OK to use Google for quick research

When you’re in a crunch to write a good essay fast, doing thorough research can feel impossible. But the good news is, it’s OK to use Google for quick research. A few targeted searches can provide just enough supplemental information to improve your essay while still allowing you to meet a tight deadline.

  • Find Relevant Data: Need some hard numbers, statistics, or authoritative data points to back up key arguments in your essay? A quick Google search can yield that specific information from credible sources to incorporate.
  • Get Context: Having trouble putting the essay topic into a broader context? A few Google queries about background information, historical context, or overarching significance can help you write your essays with more insight.
  • Locate Quotes: Using pithy quotes or expert commentary is an effective way to underscore important points and strengthen an essay’s persuasive impact. A strategic Google search may surface the perfect relevant anecdote or quote.
  • Fact Check Quickly: If something you’re stating seems questionable, you can rapidly fact-check claims or research a topic’s key details right from Google’s results to ensure accuracy.
  • Find Real Examples: Need a real-world case study or illustrative example for one of the key points in your body paragraphs? Google can unearth helpful examples, samples, and evidence to shore up your arguments.

Write the Conclusion and Introduction Last

Write the Conclusion and Introduction Last

One of the best writing tips for crafting a solid essay quickly is to write the conclusion and introduction paragraphs after you’ve completed the body of the paper. It may seem counterintuitive, but this strategy can improve your writing speed and make the overall process of writing flow much easier.

  • Get the Hard Part Done First: The body paragraphs are often the hardest part of an essay to write well. Focusing first on developing your key arguments and evidence allows you to get the heavy lifting done before having to neatly summarize everything.
  • Intro Comes Into Focus: Once you’ve done laying out the meat of your essay, writing an introduction that accurately previews what’s to come becomes easier to write. You’ll better understand what context and hooks you need to spend time setting up.
  • Write a Tight Conclusion:  Similarly, you’ll be able to craft a conclusion that concisely restates and reinforces your main points after you’ve fully fleshed them out in the body. No guesswork about what to restate.
  • Perfect Your Flow: Looking at the text as a whole, you can fine-tune transitions and the overall logical flow of ideas now that the core content is complete. This attention to connective writing produces a more cohesive essay.
  • Beat the Clock: For timed essays or those with strict deadlines, leaving the introduction and conclusion for last can be a major timesaver. You maximize the minutes you need to spend on the most complex writing first.

Editing for Time

When you’re down to the final minutes of your time limit for writing a paper, editing becomes a crunch. You’ve got to be strategic about how you use those last precious moments. Here are some tips for effective editing for time:

  • Scan for Major Issues First: Don’t get bogged down line-editing sentences yet. First, just skim through the entire text looking for any glaringly obvious errors or areas that are unclear, lacking logical flow, missing evidence, etc. Make notes on these bigger-picture problems to address.
  • Check Your Structure: After identifying major content issues, do a quick once-over of the general structure and organization of your paper. Make sure each paragraph serves a clear purpose, your quotes and evidence are properly integrated, and there is a logical progression from the intro to the conclusion.
  • Review Key Components: Next, hone in on ensuring your introductory and concluding paragraphs are brief and concise while doing their jobs. The intro should have a clear, arguable thesis. The conclusion should provide a summarizing sentence or two reiterating your main points.
  • Clean-Up Mechanics: With any remaining time, quickly proofread for basic grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation errors that make your writing look sloppy. Simple mistakes like these are easy to fix if you spot them.
  • Let Some Things Go: Be realistic that with a tight time crunch, your paper likely won’t be completely polished and perfect. Prioritize fixing major flaws, then let minor awkward phrasing or run-ons go if you’re out of time. Content takes priority.

Get Help With Writing Your Essay Fast

Place your order today by clicking the ORDER NOW button above to get our expert writing help. Essay Freelance Writers is the best in the industry, offering essay writing tips and top-notch essay writing services. If you want to learn how to write effectively or get tips on how to write quickly, we are here to help. Whether you need to improve your writing skills, complete a quick essay writing assignment in less than an hour, or want professional writing services for longer writing papers, our team has you covered.

How to Write an Essay Fast FAQs

What is the best way to write an essay quickly.

The best way to write an essay quickly is to first understand the topic clearly. Then, create an outline to organize your thoughts and main points. Next, focus on writing the body paragraphs before the introduction and conclusion. Finally, proofread and edit your essay for any errors or typos.

Can I write a 1000-word essay in 1 hour?

Writing a 1000-word essay in 1 hour is possible if you manage your time effectively. Start by quickly brainstorming ideas, then create an outline to guide your writing. Focus on writing without stopping for revisions, and make sure to proofread your essay at the end.

How do you write a 5 paragraph essay in 30 minutes?

To write a 5-paragraph essay in 30 minutes , it’s essential to have a clear thesis statement and outline prepared beforehand. Allocate specific time for each paragraph and remember to keep your writing concise and focused on the main ideas. Practice speed writing to improve your efficiency.

How to write a 1,000-word essay fast?

To write a 1000-word essay quickly , start by conducting brief research on the topic. Then, create a detailed outline to guide your writing and ensure your essay follows a logical structure. Focus on writing the body paragraphs first and leave time for editing and proofreading at the end.

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4 Ways to Write Essays Faster

Life happens, and sometimes you forget to plan for an essay. All of a sudden it’s a couple of days before the deadline and you’re trying to figure out a way to get this essay done. If you’re in this situation, here are a few ways you can write that essay by the due date.

1. Write What You Know

If you’re stuck staring at a blank page with the time ticking down, the easiest way to put something to the page is to write what you already know about. Not only will it be the ideas and concepts you’re most familiar with so the essay will be accurate, but you’ll likely have a lot to say without having to do a lot of research versus something you’re not as knowledgeable about. And you’ll end up writing a lot of content quickly as well, so the more you know off the top of your head about the topic, the easier it’ll be.

But even if you don’t know about the topic or not enough to write most of an essay, some quick research can set you on the right track. If you’re writing on something that’s been well-researched or written about beforehand, a short 15 or 30-minute research session can give you a great resource for any topics you might want to go into and help you write down a few notes to include in your paper. Another way you can get an essay written by knowledgeable people is to work with an essay writing service Reddit users recommend, as they’ve likely been in your shoes and can help you decide the best service to write your paper.

2. Don’t Start From the Intro

Many students and even professional writers struggle with figuring out where and how to start their essays, no matter how long they’ve been writing. But if you’ve been assigned a certain topic or know you have a specific point or idea that you want to prove or get across, a great way to get started is to start not from the beginning, but at the end. It might seem counterproductive, but you’ll have a much better time working backward and putting all your focus on proving your point or explaining your perspective.

Or if you’re not sure what the ending of your essay or paper should be, writing the first sentences of the ideas you’re going over may give you the inspiration to get started and work from there. That way you’ll have covered what you want and can properly introduce or conclude the paper.

3. Make an Outline

If you’ve got a lot to cover or there are a lot of specifics you need to get into, writing an outline will be a big help. Not only will you have a better idea of where you’ll need to spend your time if you know the essay will cover a lot of ground and you have to insert information from your notes or research, but you can go ahead and knock out the paragraphs that’ll be easier to write.

An outline can also help you start each paragraph off on the right foot. When you’re outlining you shouldn’t just think about the basic idea, but plan out what the rest of the paragraph will cover. Drum up a couple of sentences to go along with it that summarizes the main point, how it connects to the rest of the essay, and any evidence that you’ll need to have.

4. Lose the Distractions

One of the easiest ways to lose time when you’re writing is to get distracted. You’ll end up spending more time looking at your phone or listening to music than actually writing the essay. But if you’re a big fan of technology, you can use a distraction blocker that locks you out of other websites and apps like social media and video players that aren’t relevant to your paper.

These can take a lot of forms but they’re all designed around the concept of either completely blocking or making it obvious if you do visit one of these sites or apps that you should be working instead.

The second is to do it the old-fashioned way and put your other electronics or potential time-wasters far away enough that you won’t be tempted to reach for them. While this requires a bit more willpower on your part, it can be a useful method if you need to go to a variety of websites for your research.

Get That Essay Done

Writing an essay is a large undertaking on its own, and adding a close deadline can make it extra difficult. But if you follow these tips, you’ll have a better time sitting down and getting to work on your paper without dreading that close due date. And even if you’re not writing close to the deadline you’ll be able to write your essays faster and get back to the other things in your life.

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What ‘Inside Out 2’ Teaches Us About Anxiety

A new emotion has taken over Riley’s teenage mind. And she has lessons for us all.

A still from Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” shows Anxiety, an orange creature wearing a striped shirt, pressing buttons on a console as Disgust, Sadness, Joy, Anger and Fear look on.

By Christina Caron

At the end of “Inside Out,” the 2015 Pixar movie about the emotional life of a girl named Riley, a new button appears on the console used to control Riley’s mood. It’s emblazoned with one word: Puberty.

Joy, one of the main characters who embodies Riley’s emotions, shrugs it off.

“Things couldn’t be better!” Joy says. “After all, Riley’s 12 now. What could happen?”

The answer has finally arrived, nearly a decade later, in the sequel “Inside Out 2.” Riley is now a teenager attending a three-day hockey camp as new, more complex feelings take root in her mind.

There’s Embarrassment, a lumbering fellow who unsuccessfully attempts to hide in his hoodie; the noodle-like Ennui, who lounges listlessly on a couch; and Envy, with her wide, longing eyes.

But it is Anxiety who takes center stage, entering Riley’s mind with literal baggage (no less than six suitcases).

“OK, how can I help?” she asks. “I can take notes, get coffee, manage your calendar, walk your dog, carry your things — watch you sleep?”

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The pros and cons of online learning

What to look for in an online course.


If you’re at a point in your life where you’re considering continuing your education, you may wonder if online learning is the right path for you.

Taking an online course requires a notable investment of time, effort, and money, so it’s important to feel confident about your decision before moving forward. While online learning works incredibly well for some people, it’s not for everyone.

We recently sat down with MIT xPRO Senior Instructional Designer and Program Manager Luke Hobson to explore the pros and cons of online learning and what to look for in an online course. If you’re waiting for a sign about whether or not to enroll in that course you’ve been eying, you just might find it here.

Pros of Online Learning

First, let’s take a look at the true value of online learning by examining some of the benefits:

1. Flexibility

Online learning’s most significant advantage is its flexibility. It’s the reason millions of adults have chosen to continue their education and pursue certificates and degrees.

Asynchronous courses allow learners to complete work at their own pace, empowering them to find the optimal time to consume the content and submit assignments.

Some people are more attentive, focused, and creative in the mornings compared to the evenings and vice versa. Whatever works best for the learners should be the priority of the learning experience.

2. Community

When Luke asks people about their main reason for enrolling in a course, a common answer is networking and community.

Learners crave finding like-minded individuals who are going through the same experiences and have the same questions. They want to find a place where they belong. Being in the company of others who understand what they’re going through can help online learners who are looking for support and motivation during challenging times and times that are worth celebrating.

Some learners have created study groups and book clubs that have carried on far beyond the end of the course-it’s amazing what can grow from a single post on a discussion board!

3. Latest information

“Speed is a massive benefit of online learning,” and according to Luke, it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

“When we say speed, we don’t mean being quick with learning. We mean actual speed to market. There are so many new ideas evolving within technical spaces that it’s impossible to keep courses the way they were originally designed for a long period of time.”

Luke notes that a program on Additive Manufacturing , Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality , or Nanotechnology must be checked and updated frequently. More formal learning modalities have difficulty changing content at this rapid pace. But within the online space, it’s expected that the course content will change as quickly as the world itself does.

Cons of Online Learning

Now that we’ve looked at some of the biggest pros of online learning, let’s examine a few of the drawbacks:

1. Learning environment

While many learners thrive in an asynchronous learning environment, others struggle. Some learners prefer live lessons and an instructor they can connect with multiple times a week. They need these interactions to feel supported and to persist.

Most learners within the online space identify themselves as self-directed learners, meaning they can learn on their own with the right environment, guidance, materials, and assignments. Learners should know themselves first and understand their preferences when it comes to what kind of environment will help them thrive.

2. Repetition

One drawback of online courses is that the structure can be repetitive: do a reading, respond to two discussion posts, submit an essay, repeat. After a while, some learners may feel disengaged from the learning experience.

There are online courses that break the mold and offer multiple kinds of learning activities, assessments, and content to make the learning experience come alive, but it may take some research to find them-more on what to look for in an online course later in this article! Luke and his colleagues at MIT xPRO are mindful of designing courses that genuinely engage learners from beginning to end.

3. Underestimation

Luke has noticed that some learners underestimate how much work is required in an online course. They may mistakenly believe that online learning is somehow “easier” compared to in-person learning.

For those learners who miscalculate how long they will need to spend online or how challenging the assignments can be, changing that mindset is a difficult process. It’s essential to set aside the right amount of time per week to contribute to the content, activities, and assignments. Creating personal deadlines and building a study routine are two best practices that successful online learners follow to hold themselves accountable.

Experience the Value of Online Learning: What to Look For in an Online Course

You’ve probably gathered by now that not all online courses are created equal. On one end of the spectrum, there are methods of online learning that leave learners stunned by what a great experience they had. On the other end of the spectrum, some online learning courses are so disappointing that learners regret their decision to enroll.

If you want to experience the value of online learning, it’s essential to pick the right course. Here’s a quick list of what to look for:

  • Feedback and connection to peers within the course platform. Interacting regularly with other learners makes a big difference. Luke and the MIT xPRO team use peer-reviewed feedback to give learners the opportunity to engage with each other’s work.
  • Proof of hard work. In the online learning space, proof of hard work often comes in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or specific certifications. MIT xPRO course participants who successfully complete one or more courses are eligible to receive CEUs , which many employers, licensing agencies, and professional associations accept as evidence of a participant’s serious commitment to their professional development.

Online learning isn’t for everyone, but with the right approach, it can be a valuable experience for many people. Now that you know what to look for in an online course, see what Luke and the MIT xPRO instructional design team have to offer by checking out the latest MIT xPRO courses and programs .

Originally published at on August 8th, 2022.

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The pros and cons of online learning was originally published in MIT Open Learning on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Type your simple text description and our AI generator lets you create images in seconds. Powered by AI technology, our AI image creator makes it easy to bring imagination to life. The possibilities for creativity are endless!

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Generate AI images in Different Art Styles

Experimentation is a big part of creation. Test out different modes for your AI-generated images Pixlr Text to Image, using our style options like Enhance, Anime, Digital-Art, Neon Punk, Cinematic.

Choose a specific style and aspect ratio to match the concept you’re going for. With our AI photo generator, easily turn text prompts into art that captures your thoughts and presents options you can place on your poster or storyboard.

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Build a Corporate Culture That Works

how to learn an essay fast

There’s a widespread understanding that managing corporate culture is key to business success. Yet few companies articulate their culture in such a way that the words become an organizational reality that molds employee behavior as intended.

All too often a culture is described as a set of anodyne norms, principles, or values, which do not offer decision-makers guidance on how to make difficult choices when faced with conflicting but equally defensible courses of action.

The trick to making a desired culture come alive is to debate and articulate it using dilemmas. If you identify the tough dilemmas your employees routinely face and clearly state how they should be resolved—“In this company, when we come across this dilemma, we turn left”—then your desired culture will take root and influence the behavior of the team.

To develop a culture that works, follow six rules: Ground your culture in the dilemmas you are likely to confront, dilemma-test your values, communicate your values in colorful terms, hire people who fit, let culture drive strategy, and know when to pull back from a value statement.

Start by thinking about the dilemmas your people will face.

Idea in Brief

The problem.

There’s a widespread understanding that managing corporate culture is key to business success. Yet few companies articulate their corporate culture in such a way that the words become an organizational reality that molds employee behavior as intended.

What Usually Happens

How to fix it.

Follow six rules: Ground your culture in the dilemmas you are likely to confront, dilemma-test your values, communicate your values in colorful terms, hire people who fit, let culture drive strategy, and know when to pull back from a value.

At the beginning of my career, I worked for the health-care-software specialist HBOC. One day, a woman from human resources came into the cafeteria with a roll of tape and began sticking posters on the walls. They proclaimed in royal blue the company’s values: “Transparency, Respect, Integrity, Honesty.” The next day we received wallet-sized plastic cards with the same words and were asked to memorize them so that we could incorporate them into our actions. The following year, when management was indicted on 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud, we learned what the company’s values really were.

  • EM Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, where she directs the executive education program Leading Across Borders and Cultures. She is the author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business (PublicAffairs, 2014) and coauthor (with Reed Hastings) of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention (Penguin, 2020). ErinMeyerINSEAD

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The Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying a House

Not sure if you should buy a home in this market? These 12 pros and cons can help you decide.

The Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying a House

The question of “should you buy or rent” is a lot tougher to answer now than it was only four years ago. U.S. home prices have climbed along with interest rates, while rising rents have made it harder for many renters to save for a down payment.

Those dynamics have changed some of the ways you may be thinking about buying versus renting. 

Before the pandemic, the decision usually came down to whether you could afford a down payment since mortgage payments on a typical home — even including taxes and insurance — were hundreds of dollars cheaper than rents. 

Now, rents and mortgage payments are much closer. Even when putting 20% down on a home purchase, rents were cheaper than mortgages in nearly three out of five (29/50) major metros at the start of 2024. And it takes a renter four more years to save for a down payment now than it did pre-pandemic. 

So on a monthly basis, you’re likely to pay less to rent in most metro areas — even for a comparable home. But that’s only part of the picture.

There are benefits to either option, and everyone will come to their decision with different priorities and values. It all depends on what you expect from the market, whether you see your home primarily as an investment, the length of time you expect to live in your home, and the lifestyle you’re seeking.

Here are some pros to each option to help you weigh your choices.

Pros to buying a home now

Even in today’s housing market, buying a home could be a smart move. Here are six reasons why buying a house could benefit you more than renting:

You may be able to build equity

“Building equity ” means that you increase your financial stake in the home over time. You can do that in two ways: 1) By paying down your mortgage over time, and 2) by buying a home that eventually becomes worth more than you bought it for. 

The difference between what you can sell your home for and what you owe on your mortgage is your equity. So if you could sell your home for $350,000 and you owe $200,000 on your mortgage, you would have $150,000 in home equity, including the amount you put toward the down payment.

While there are no guarantees that any given home will appreciate in value, homes typically tend to become more valuable over time. What makes ownership especially attractive in those cases is that you earn appreciation on the entire value of the home, not just the amount you put down toward the purchase.

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What’s changed for buyers over the past few years is the amount of time they would have to live in their homes before equity growth helps buying become ultimately cheaper than renting.

For example, if you bought a $350,000 home with 20% down, and home values really struggled to take off this year, you would have to live in that home for around seven years before the net cost of buying and maintaining the home equaled the net cost of renting during that same period. If mortgage rates fall more and home values start growing again, you could break even in a little over four years.  Both examples assume you’d be paying $2,000 a month in rent and earning a 6% return by investing the money you would otherwise have put toward the down payment. (“Net costs” means the usual costs, but offset by the homeowner’s growing equity or the renter’s investment account balance.)

“The longer mortgage rates are elevated, the more home buying is for a longer run decision,’’ says Zillow® Chief Economist Skylar Olsen. 

Keep in mind that the average homeowner stays in their home 13 years, so if you’re planning to stay in your home past the breakeven point, it could make more sense to buy. The opposite is true if you’re planning to move sooner. This Rent vs. Buy Calculator can help guide your decision-making by showing you how different scenarios might pencil out. And our Affordability Calculator can show you how much you can afford to spend on a home, given your income, assets and debts. 

Keep in mind that most experts say that shelter is considered affordable if the monthly outlay doesn’t consume more than 30% of your monthly income.

Every mortgage payment can help you save

When you pay your mortgage each month, some of it goes toward interest on the loan and some goes toward principal or paying down the amount you owe. Over time, the share that goes toward principal gets larger and larger, increasing your share of ownership in the home as time passes.

Those principal payments are considered “forced savings,’’ since they build equity while you’re putting a roof over your head — something you’d have to pay for anyway. 

“If you don’t think you’ll be reliably investing in the stock market and making a decent return on it, paying a mortgage can simplify your savings plan,’’ says Olsen.

You’re buying a lifestyle that could be hard to replicate if you’re renting

Buying a home can give you access to a larger variety of neighborhoods, home styles and amenities, and allow you to tailor your home to your liking, whether it’s through home improvements or landscaping. If you’ve ever searched for a single family rental, you know they can be hard to come by in your chosen neighborhood.

The higher demand for single family rentals translates to higher rents for those properties. Rent growth for single-family homes has been stronger than for multi-family homes, a trend that’s likely to continue according to Zillow’s 2024 housing predictions . Single-family rentals are 4.8% more expensive than a year earlier, while rents for multi-family are up 2.55% year over year.

“It’s important to remember: we find intrinsic value in ownership itself — in controlling the path of our lives and writing our own stories,’’ says Olsen. “Buying is a part of that.”

Your mortgage payments will remain relatively stable for as long as you own your home

A fixed-rate mortgage has a monthly payment that stays the same for the life of the loan.  Taxes and homeowners insurance, which your lender will typically collect every month, are likely to increase, but the mortgage portion would remain unchanged until you sell or pay off the mortgage.

For that reason, real estate is often considered a hedge against inflation because it offers people a way to lock in the cost of shelter, which is a major part of their monthly budget. 

If mortgage rates drop, homeowners can lower their monthly mortgage costs by refinancing . The vast majority of renters have no such control over their rent. Since the pandemic began in 2020, rents have surged more than 29%, and they continue to trend upward, according to Zillow® research . 

Olsen says that “even with below-average rent growth, rents could easily double over the next 30 years.”

You could get tax benefits

Homeowners who itemize deductions on their tax returns can write off the interest they pay on mortgages of up to $750,000. Owning a home may entitle you to other tax breaks as well.

Even more impactful to the bottom line, homeowners benefit when they sell, too: A married couple can avoid paying taxes on up to $500,000 in capital gains when they sell their home, a tax break that is not possible when you sell stocks or other capital investments. The capital gains deduction for a single homeowner is up to $250,000.

You may not have to make a fast decision

Depending on your market, your price tier and the season, you could have more time to look for what you want.

After one of the most challenging years on record for buyers in 2023, sellers are cutting prices and homes are taking slightly longer to sell.  Zillow® research shows that 22.6% of for-sale listings had price cuts in November, and homes that sold that month went under contract in only 21 days. That’s a day faster than a year earlier, but more than two weeks faster than homes normally sold for in the fall pre-pandemic.

You may be able to use your home to earn rental income.

If you buy a home and later decide to move out or you have a spare room or accessory dwelling unit , you may be able to rent to someone else and use the rental income you receive to help you cover your mortgage payment and other costs.

“My advice to a first-time buyer is always that your first home is not your forever home,” Becky Garcia, team lead of The Garcia Group at eXp Realty in Phoenix, says, adding that potential buyers should look at their first purchase as a three-to-five-year home that will help build a down payment towards a dream home. “I tell them to look at it as a strategy,” she added. “My favorite purchase for a first time buyer is a duplex . They can live in one unit, rent out the other and have their tenant pay a large portion of their mortgage.”

It’s also possible to buy a home or vacation getaway and use it primarily as an investment property before you buy a principal residence for yourself.

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Reasons you may consider renting for now 

With all the reasons why you should consider buying a home, there are also some good reasons to keep renting. Here are six pros to renting a home vs buying that may be concerns for you:

The cost of renting is generally less expensive than buying the same quality of home

Rent is less expensive than a mortgage on a monthly basis in most places, even when comparing similar homes, according to Olsen.

The typical U.S. home in November 2023 was worth $347,415, and the typical mortgage payment for a buyer who put 20% down was $1,925. That amount was 9% higher than the previous November.

The typical U.S. rent in November 2023 was $1,982 — an increase of 3.3% from a year earlier, according to the Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI), but the trend shows rents flattening as more multi-family homes come on the market.   

Zillow’s rent vs. buy calculator can help you estimate how many years it would take for your hypothetical cost of buying to equal your hypothetical cost of renting in your market. Generally, the longer you stay in your home, the more the balance swings toward owning.

Renters usually have more freedom to move

Renting comes with fewer strings attached. Whether it’s a different neighborhood or unit, you can usually move more easily to adapt your current lifestyle and needs, or to try out a different city altogether. 

There’s usually no or low maintenance costs

“Homeownership can come with unexpected headaches — and sometimes expensive ones,’’ says Olsen. “Renters do not need to worry about the cost of maintenance or upgrades (outside of those built into next year’s lease), and in many cases don’t even need to mow the lawn.”

Data based on millions of home projects completed across the country show that home maintenance and upkeep runs about $6,413 annually, according to Thumbtack , a home management platform that enables people to fix, maintain and improve their homes.

You may need to make fewer financial compromises

Coming up with a down payment to buy a home requires building up significant savings, and higher home prices and interest rates have made home buying an expensive proposition that can require financial sacrifices. 

Buying could require you to make sacrifices that you aren’t ready or able to make, such as settling for one less bedroom when you’re expecting a new member of your family or cutting back on entertainment or vacations.

The upfront costs are likely to be lower

“ There is a low, but not zero, financial barrier to entry for renting,’’ says Olsen, so you can invest what you would have spent on a down payment into the stock market or other type of investment.

You won’t have to worry about home values declining

Homes generally appreciate over time, but they can also lose value. Nationally, home values are expected to flatten this year, but in some markets home values dropped.

While this can be good news for affordability if you’re planning to buy right now, the flip side is that you’ll need to consider likely home value trends over the course of ownership. 

For example, if home prices take a dip, and you made a small or zero down payment and haven't owned your home long enough to build much equity, this could cause you to be underwater or “ upside down ” if you need to sell. While there are options for underwater borrowers, this could be a reason to keep renting for now and save for a higher down payment.

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You don't have to pay property tax and other costs

Aside from maintenance, other costs of ownership include property tax, homeowners insurance, and sometimes homeowner association fees. 

Olsen says the financial decision to rent or buy is based on a long timeline, and is anchored on someone’s expectations. Depending on future home value appreciation and how effectively you invest savings if choosing to rent, you could break even from buying in as few as five years or as many as 18 or more. Where a household falls within that range depends on the cost of the home they’re considering purchasing or renting, how quickly rents and home values grow, the potential rate of return on stocks or other investments and whether mortgage rates fall enough to make refinancing a good option. 

 If you’re curious about how much rent you can afford, check out this rent affordability calculator . And this calculator can show you how much you can afford to spend on a home, given your income, assets and debts. 

The bottom line: Deciding when to buy a home is a personal choice. There's no one "right" time for everyone. Only you can decide if now is the right time for you.

Need more help understanding when to buy a house? Try our decision tree .

Susan Kelleher

Susan Kelleher

A local agent can help you stay competitive on a budget.

They’ll help you get an edge without stretching your finances.

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