How To Write Essays Faster

LifehacksStudy tips
Jul 26, 2019

Sometimes, even the most conscientious student can be overwhelmed with papers and exams. In the worst of cases, they can also remember about the papers to be done at the last minute. Whether you procrastinated on an essay deliberately or by accident, it’s always a great idea to learn to write essays faster. The quicker you finish your essay, the faster you can take on other subjects or relax.

Why Write Fast?

College students keep up with multiple courses each semester. And with each course, they are expected to attend class, read in advance, study for exams, and write papers. With so many things to do, how do you get things done within 24 hours? If you’re a student, the ability to read fast, and more importantly, to write essays fast is a valuable skill.

Writing fast is not just valuable for times when you forget about your assignments until the last minute. You will find that this ability is beneficial for time management. Not only will you not need to pull all-nighters trying to finish an essay, but you will actually be able to finish your essays within your set timeframe. This way, you have more time to do other coursework or do things you enjoy.

Being able to write essays faster is a skill that will help you go through college with less stress. For now, perhaps, it seems impossible. But when you follow this system, you will eventually write essays faster.  

Here are steps to help you write more efficiently:

1. Set your mindset

As with any task, your mindset will considerably affect the way you do things. A negative attitude will definitely be a hindrance. So, if you are panicking about a paper, let yourself calm down first. Encourage yourself, and, if it helps, think of a game plan that will help you accomplish your writing task. Likewise, if you think that writing is not your strongest suit, think of your writing assignment as a challenge. Adopt a “can-do” attitude, follow the rest of our steps, but don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Aside from the “can-do” mindset, get rid of distractions. Turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi or temporarily block social media websites. Focus on nothing but writing so ideas will flow, and you can write essays faster.

Most importantly, set goals for yourself. Some students find it most helpful to take 5-minute breaks after 25 minutes of continuous writing. Taking breaks will not slow you down. On the contrary, giving your mind a break will help you write faster.

Try the Pomodoro technique The Pomodoro Technique may seem unproductive at first glance, but it is actually a great strategy especially for people who are more susceptible to "writer's block."



2. Find a place that is conducive to studying/writing

Your study or writing environment will inevitably be reflected in your mind. So, if you want to focus on your essay, go to a place that you find conducive to writing. Most people find that quiet places or places where they are surrounded by others who are also studying are helpful. Try the library, a coffee shop, if your dorm  is too noisy. Each person is comfortable writing in different places—find yours and go there whenever you need to write essays fast.

If your go-to study place is unavailable, another trick is to listen to music while you write. Studies have shown that listening to music that you enjoy helps enhance concentration. If you cannot help singing along, try listening to classical music while writing. Give it a try.

Focus on the task at hand It is no surprise or argument that when you need to finish a task, you need to focus. Avoid distractions such as your checking your phone and try to detach yourself from unnecessary actions such as browing through your social media accounts.


3. Exhaust all your ideas/arguments

Naturally, before your start writing, you should read and understand the instructions and the topic . Start your writing process by brainstorming on the topic. Don’t filter your ideas as good and bad—write them all down. 

Once you have written all the ideas you can think of, try to connect them. Organize the ones that are connected with each other, so it becomes a word map. If, on the other hand, you are the type who likes to create outlines, you can add more detail and write complete sentences to transform it into an official outline.

There are two rationales for this expert advice:

4. Research now, write later

This step can occur before or after you have written out all your ideas. It depends on how much you already know about the topic. At times, you will need to research first, then choose your argument or ideas for the essay. Other times, for example, when the topic was discussed in your class, you can start with brainstorming ideas. This way, you will not expend time and energy digging on an idea or sub-topic that you will not use anyway. During your research after forming your outline, search for information and/or sources with direction.

Most definitely, you need to do the research before writing the paper. More than reducing the need to switch to Google (and therefore to research mode) in the middle of a sentence, you will be able to write more smoothly when you know what you want to say and when you are confident that what you are saying is true and supported by credible sources.

5. Use the “TK” approach for missing information

No matter how thorough your research is, it is inevitable to find that there are certain pieces of information that you missed. If you were really thorough in your research, the chances are that this missing information is a minor detail. For such instances, simply do what journalists do and type “TK.” This stands for “to come” so your writing flow will not be disrupted. Return to these missing links after you have finished writing the entire essay.

Taking the time to research missing information may only take a few seconds or a minute, but it can still disrupt your flow. How many times have you switched to Google mid-paragraph for a tiny bit of information only to find that you have forgotten why you needed that piece of information? “TK” will help you avoid wasting your time like this.

Here is an example from our draft of the essay: Woodstock 1969: Peace And Love:

Part of what made Woodstock legendary were the performing artists who agreed to play there. The artists include TK. Some of the artists that played were well-known, like TK  and TK while others, such as TK , were more locally popular and became widely known after their appearance at Woodstock.

6. Have a thesaurus ready

Everyone goes through this—having a word at the tip of your tongue, yet not finding it. Do not waste your time searching through your mind for the right word. Consult the expert instead: the thesaurus, you will definitely find the right word there. Do not think of this as an affront to your vocabulary. It is simply a more efficient method so you can write your essay faster.  

7. Start with the body

Many students make the mistake of trying to write the introduction first. They get stumped, naturally. Here’s how one writer put it: how can you introduce something that does not yet exist? So there, write your essay first, so you know exactly what you have to introduce. You will still need to write a hook for your essay, and there is no guarantee that the process will be faster for that. 

This technique guarantees two things: first, that you will finish writing your essay faster; and second, that the hook and, most importantly, the thesis statement will correspond to the thesis of your entire essay.

Follow this essay structure to write faster Another unconventional technique is starting with the body of your paper. Of course, you can skip this step if you prepared an outline, but for on the spot writing, it is a good option to focus on your discussion first then formulate your thesis.


8. Cite as you go

Citing sources is just as tedious as writing itself. This could take a lot of effort just to scour through the sources you have gathered and match them with the information or claim in your essay. The goal, then, is to minimize this while not disrupting your writing flow. There are two ways to cite your sources quickly while writing:

  • Use the comment function in your word processor . Mark the parts that need citation and write the source you used. You can also include the page number if you included a direct quote or if you’re using the MLA citation style
  • Prepare the in-text citation of each of your sources in a separate file, and then copy and paste them where they are needed.

This method is more thorough than going back to every sentence to see which one needs citation.

9. Put on hold your inner editor

The inner editor, much like the inner saboteur, is a hindrance to successful and quick writing. It disrupts your flow and makes you second-guess everything you write. If you want to write essays faster, turn off your inner editor for the first draft. You do not need to perfect the sentences in the first draft. The first draft is mainly for laying out your ideas and the structure of the essay. Once you are done with the first draft, you may unleash your inner editor to nitpick on language and the organization of the essay.

10. Learn to type faster

This may seem like silly advice, but it can make a big difference if you want to finish essays faster. People who type slowly may find that they have to constantly go back and forth between words in their sentences as they type. They run the risk of forgetting what they wanted to say next. Being able to type fast lets you keep up with your thoughts—meaning that the sentences and ideas can flow freely and naturally.

Essay writing service for students

We hope that you can try out these tips to help you write essays faster. The ability to write fast is not only helpful for cramming or writing your papers at the last minute but a great tool for those who wish to manage their time more efficiently. 

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