Preparation

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Writing essays is a huge part of college life. They are presented to you weeks in advance but you somehow still find yourself rushing to put it together in the last twenty four hours, promising you’ll do better next time.

I had an essay due this week. The lecturer gave the title a month before the due date and had been very helpful in answering any questions pertaining to the topic. However, I fell right into the dreaded essay trap. I prepared my notes, readings and research. I planned my essay before I started typing it, I knew what I wanted to say and which sources would prove most useful. But once I started writing, I realised I needed information that was far different than the majority of my preparations. Some of my notes, although on topic, proved irrelevant in the context of my essay. Therefore, despite the fact that I spent all my time planning my essay, when it came down to actually typing the 1500 word document, I was way off base. It was too late to start from scratch, my proclivity for procrastination was working against me once again. I had no choice but to research as I wrote, acutely aware of the looming deadline.

The stress inducing, last minute writing gave me a platform to work off of next time an essay rolls around. I came up with a number of points to help me to better prepare for my next essay, which unfortunately is next week.

  • Narrow your research; sweeping statements do not aid in making your point.
  • Do not put off starting to write the essay; it helps to organise your notes by paragraph.
  • Prepare well in advance to avoid any problems arising last minute.

I also found this video to be a great help in structuring my essay as it is easy to understand and translates for essays in many disciplines. Check it out, and if anyone has any tips to share on how they prepare to write an essay, please comment below!

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