Essay writing is one assignment a lot of students dread. From school through college, essay writing is always a part of school or college curriculum. However, not all students are blessed with the ‘gift of the gab’, as they say.
Some students find it difficult to formulate their thoughts on a given subject. Some take a painfully long time to come up ideas. Others simply get bored at the very thought of writing. While taking an exam, essay writing can bite away a lot of precious time. Essay writing is somewhat of a science and someone of an art. Let us look at a few tricks that can go a long way in helping you write an essay in under an hour.
Read the topic till you know it like the back of your hand
First and foremost, it is important to dedicate the first couple of minutes to reading and re-reading the topic multiple times. Sometimes, we tend to misinterpret the meaning or tonality of topic due to an adverb or punctuation. For instance, the topic ‘It’s a tie’ can refer to the tie you wear. However, the more likely interpretation will be the scenario of a sporting event wherein both teams finish on level terms.
Jot down all the point that you can think of
Off goes the examination bell, and boom, off we go with our essay. This is highly advised against. First 5-10 minutes are for formulating a strategy. It is important to make a note of all points that cross your mind and are relevant to the topic. Try to think of examples that support the argument you are going to make. Look at the topic from all possible perspectives. Various perspectives can be sports, economics, human tendencies and behavior, education, etc.
Formulate a structure
Each essay consists of 3 essential parts-
- Middle part
This is essentially the most important part of your essay. It can literally make or break the essay. It is important to devote at least 10-15 minutes to come up with a formidable opening paragraph. Use of relevant quotes and idioms can help. One can also start with the stanza of a poem.
It is where you make use of the points and examples you jotted down earlier. It is the longest part of your essay and can be rather monotonous at times. Split this part into various paragraphs. Each paragraph can consist of an argument and a supporting illustration or example. You can devote 20-25 minutes to this part.
This is another important part of your essay. It is important to finish strong. You can take up to 10-15 minutes to come up with a suitable conclusion. The conclusion should summarize your thoughts and provide a concrete view of the same.
Proof reading and deciding on a suitable title
The last 5-7 minutes are to be kept for reading your masterpiece and taking care of any grammatical or spelling errors. Finally, give an appropriate title to your essay. The title should be eye catching or thought provoking. Remember, sometimes, we get a great idea for a title while we are working on the introduction or conclusion and do not write it down only to lose it later. It is important to note down your ideas for the title as and when you get them.
Generalized quotes and idioms
Coming up with apt idioms, sayings and quotes instantly can be difficult. Think of various spheres the topic can cover. Memorize some generic quotes which can be used if the topic permits. Some generic quotes can belong to the following spheres-
- Hard Work
- Women empowerment
Some examples of genericquotes are-
- Success is simple ABCD- Ability, Breaks, Courage and Dreams
- Hard Work is the only investment that never fails
- With time and patience, a mulberry leaf turns into a silk gown
- You can take a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink
- Be the change you wish to see in the world
While formulating the points you can write about, mind maps can serve as a very powerful tool. A mind map is a virtual representation of a central idea with various inter-related ideas written all around it. It makes the best use of one’s cortical skillset. They help you come up with as many ideas as possible.
Stick to the time allotted
Sometimes we get a topic that leaves us high and dry. This leaves us struggling to match expected word count. On other occasions, we may be inundated with numerous thoughts and ideas. In such cases, the middle part becomes so long that there is literally no time left to come up with a conclusion. Whatever the case may be, it is important to make sure that all the three sections of the essay get the time that they deserve.
‘Practice makes perfect’, they say. Ultimately, it all comes down to speed. The faster you can write, the more time you have to formulate your thoughts.Practice writing essays from time to time. Not only will it increase your writing speed high but also keep your mind active.
Read a number of essays
It always helps to read different essays once in a while. If you are lucky, you might be faced with a topic quite similar to one you have already read. This will make the task a whole lot easier.
Stay abreast with world news and developments
Often, the primary reason why essay writing takes a lot of time is that the topic seems difficult or doesn’t belong to your area of interest. Most competitive exams and colleges use contemporary world developments to come up with essay topics. For example, if United Nations declares the year 1975 as Internal Women’s Year, odds are, you might get a topic based on Feminism or Women empowerment, etc.
I hope the above points help you while you are working on your next essay assignment. Happy writing everybody!