7 Easy Steps to Write Essay in an Hour

It is important not to procrastinate when it comes to writing essays. However, you have only 1 hour to write your essay, don’t give up! We’ve got you covered!

If you are always on the go and need to submit an essay fast before the deadline, then these seven steps will help you write that essay in an hour.

how to write an essay in an hour

1. Turn to Professional Online Writers

If you are in need of an essay but don’t have the time to complete it, then you can always turn to professional online writers for help. They can usually finish your essay in less than 1 hour.

The number of orders for essays is growing rapidly day by day. It is hard to believe that people are actually ready to pay for someone else to write their essay for them.

People are looking for the best essay writing service provider that they can find online. The truth is that there are many essay writing service providers but few of them will meet the standards you want in your essay writer.

It is quite easy to find a good essay writer these days because the majority of writers have already updated themselves with all the latest trends in academic writing.

You can just put in Google “ write an essay for me fast” and you’ll find and a lot of services that can help you out.

They know all about how to get an A+ on your paper and present it in an interesting manner so you will get maximum grades for it, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for an online essay writer.

  • Check their samples of papers that they created for other students quickly.
  • Skim through their reviews.
  • Google their brand name and read what people say about them on third-party websites.
  • Ask their support if they can complete your essay within an hour.
  • Ask them if they can give you an on-time delivery guarantee if you pay them their expensive fee for super urgent delivery.

If you think that you can still make it happen on your own, go ahead and follow these tips below.

2. Choose Your Topic Wisely

When it comes to writing essays, the first step you need to take is choosing your topic.

If you have an hour or less, it’s best to go for topics that you can write quickly about and may already know a lot about. That way, you can spend more time on the essay’s content rather than research.

Make sure it is something relevant and something that interests you. Once you have found a topic, spend some time researching it and create an outline of the essay. This will include the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Furthermore, one thing that people often forget is that they should always use their own voice when they are writing essays for college or high school courses. This will make them original and scholarly.

3. Brainstorm Ideas in 5-10 minutes

Brainstorming is a technique for generating a number of ideas quickly. Definitely, you can use it to generate interesting topic ideas for essay writing.

An important thing about brainstorming is that you should not judge your idea as good or bad because it might be the stumbling point. And you need to work fast as you have only 1 hour, right?

The idea is to just brainstorm, so don’t worry about the quality of your ideas. Write them down quickly, without thinking too much. Then go back and work on the ones that are most interesting to you.

4. Skim Through the Sources Quickly

Doing research is an important part of any essay. The introduction of the essay would have to contain a good number of ideas that are carefully chosen and then backed up with solid evidence.

To do this, students would have to spend hours reading through books, blogs, websites, and other materials to find appropriate arguments for their points. But with the advent of search engines , all you need are a few minutes to get your point across.

Students should focus on using their time wisely to get the most out of their search engine experience. Here are some tips for saving time while doing research:

  • Use only credible sources when researching.
  • Conduct searches in specific formats that will be more likely to provide results.
  • Find reliable statistics or studies that back up your points.

What’s next?

5) Make an Outline for Your Essay

An outline is a plan for your essay. It is the structure on which you will build your essay.

The outline can be in any form; it can be a list of points or paragraphs that you plan to include in your essay, or it may be a more comprehensive hierarchical list that includes subtopics with their own subpoints. It may also simply be a few words you jotted down on paper before starting to write.

What’s important about an outline is that it helps you stay organized and keep track of what you want to say as well as how to say it.

6. Start Writing With Confidence and Urgency

This technique is helpful for those who are not confident in their writing abilities. It helps them start to enjoy the process of writing and learn how to write quickly, while still getting content that is readable.

online paper writer

After you’re done with your first draft, you can go back and edit it.

It’s time to stop writing like you were taking a test. You always need to edit your content, but you should not have the fear of making mistakes when you first start the writing process.

As a writer, you can be creative and imaginative during the first draft. But if you are too afraid of making errors, it could lead to writer’s block.

You should not be afraid of failure because if that happens, then you have nothing to lose.

7. Edit for errors before submitting

It is important to edit for errors before submitting it to get a good grade.

Sometimes it is hard to catch all the mistakes in your essay. This section will show you how to edit your essay for errors and submit it to get a good grade on your paper.

Follow these steps:

  • Read over the essay for grammar and spelling errors
  • Add transitions to break up paragraphs
  • Remove any unnecessary words, phrases, or sentences
  • Use a dictionary to check word usage

You should revise your essay for grammar, spelling, and sentence structure errors. If you can’t find them then ask someone else to do that for you.

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How to Complete a One-Page Essay in One Hour

  • Essay Writing

an old book with a pen an watch on it

If you are reading this article, then you have probably procrastinated for a long time and now realize your deadline is coming up. Most us know how hard getting to work might be and how your paper due date often feels so far away.

But suddenly the thought of the day X hits you, and your hands start sweating because you have so little time to do everything your teacher or professor expects you to do.

Two Options

You can still sit and wait for a fairy to come and complete your assignment for you, or you can quickly read our useful tips and get your work done – even if an hour is all you are left with.

1 — Get Professional Help

Magic indeed exists! We have fairies – often referred to as writers – working on our team, who are more than happy to help you with our essay writing service , and can hand a paper over to you within a short period.

2 — Write on Your Own

If the topic doesn’t seem too difficult for you, you can knock it out by yourself in an hour with the useful tips we have written below.

So, how to complete a one-page essay in one hour?

Step 1 – Avoid Distractions

Okay, so you’ve already procrastinated enough. That’s why it’s time to focus, no matter how hard it is for you. Turn off your TV, phone and close all the tabs with videos of dancing kittens. It’s time to start!

We also recommend turning off music. However, if you feel it helps you to focus, keep it at a low volume. If you like to listen to music while studying, it’s better to choose music without lyrics, as lyrics tend to distract our thoughts.

A note: Classical music or sounds of nature are the best background music for productive writing.

Avoid chatting with your friends on the phone and don’t take calls. You can get back to them after you have finished your work. For now, just leave your phone muted in another room.

Step 2 – Set the Right Atmosphere

Now it’s time to clean your space and find the most suitable place for you to work. Some students love to study while lying in bed or sitting in the window sill. Find the most comfortable position for you.

Some students say that scented candles can boost your productivity and concentration. For example, to wake up your brain, and start writing your essay, use scents like:

How to focus more?

If you’re sitting at your desk, free it of textbooks, and unwashed dishes. Messes lead to chaotic thinking. Organized spaces organize thinking.

Step 3 – Make Sure You Understand the Topic

This might seem obvious, but you should start writing your essay from the beginning around the question or a problem to be discussed in it.

Many essays have failed just because students misunderstood the given topic, and went off from what they should have been saying about it.

You don’t want to fail this way, right?

That’s why you have to read questions attentively and think through the general direction of your work.

Even an urgent essay requires some groundwork and preparation. Start searching for the right material and sources that will help you to understand what your professor teacher is expecting. Often topics are written in a confusing manner, and sometimes even a single word can completely change the whole direction of your answer.

A note: Be attentive to details and find a few different sources to compare given information.

Step 4 – Develop a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is basically the answer to the essay. It is a quick summary of your essay that has been shortened down into a single sentence in your introductory paragraph. Usually, thesis statements are hard to come up with, especially for those students who don’t know how to write it well.

A thesis is a statement about what you wish to say in your academic paper. It tells your reader what they should expect to take away from it.

For example, if your essay theme is: The Influence of Napoleon Bonaparte on Warfare, Culture, and Politics.

Your thesis statement might be:

Although Napoleon Bonaparte was often called “an enlightened despot” he made a significant input in many spheres of life by spreading metric system, reforming French laws and promoting a movable type of warfare.

Need examples?

Take a look at our essay examples to understand how to create accurate and informative thesis statements.

Step 5 – Create an Outline

For now, you should have next to you all your necessary materials and a clear understanding of what your essay should be about. Now it’s time to start planning your essay.

A rough outline is the basis of your essay. Any piece of academic writing goes through developing an outline and building your work around it.

The standard plan for 5-paragraph essays looks something like this:

  • Introduction: the starting point (a quote/statistics/question,) thesis, and transition.
  • Three body paragraphs: with examples, explanations, and thoughts.
  • The final conclusion: thesis restatement, summary, and closure.

Let’s take a look at the same topic as in our previous example. Here, the essay outline about Napoleon Bonaparte’s influence on different spheres of life would be:

  • Introduction with thesis statement included.
  • Body paragraph #1: legal reforms, and the Civil Code – both of its positive and negative impacts.
  • Body paragraph #2: metric system spreading; making the Louvre into an imperial art gallery.
  • Body paragraph #3: changes in warfare, fast marches, effective usage of mobile reserve batteries.
  • Conclusion.

Attention: This was an example of a rough outline. If you have more than an hour, it’s better to create a more extended outline. The more effort you put in your outline, the less time you will spend tailoring your essay.

As you have already planned your essay and thought it through, this step won’t be difficult for you:

  • Make short notes or bullet points on each paragraph.
  • Make sure you have enough examples or data to support your statements.
  • Reread it again.

Think about what kind of hook to begin your essay with. Even a one-page essay should catch the attention of the reader within the first few words. It should also convince others to continue reading your paper by using interesting facts or anecdotes (where appropriate).

Teacher’s advice: Many high school teachers admit that by the end of the first paragraph, they can tell whether or not an essay is good. So, do your best to write a compelling essay worth an A.

Step 6 – Write Your Paragraphs

If you followed all the previous steps, the rest of your paper shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes. Follow your outline and check the sources from which you pool your information, examples, facts, and statistics.

Every one of your body paragraphs should be written in the following scheme:

  • Start with the topic sentence that defines the paragraph and helps the rest of the text shine.
  • Explain this sentence.
  • Give one or several examples.
  • Explain the examples.
  • Make your transition to the next paragraph.

While writing your paragraphs, stick to these simple and effective rules:

  • Use clear and simple language.
  • Create a catchy and compelling introduction.
  • In body paragraphs, focus your text on facts.
  • Pay attention to your conclusion — it must summarize the whole essay, be brief, concise, contain all your facts, and restate your thesis.

A pro tip: Write the middle of your essay first, before writing your introduction and conclusion. It will be easier for you to follow this logical flow, while not missing any important information.

Step 7 – Edit and Proofread

This is a significant step; insufficient concentration while editing and proofreading – or even skipping it – can lead to low grades. Every paper you write should be thoroughly checked for any grammatical errors in punctuation, and edited according to the standards of your learning institution.

Many students underestimate the importance of proofreading. And as such, they tend to hand in lackluster papers, despite the great information they might contain.

  • Read the whole text — including the title page and headings.
  • Run your text through grammar-checking software, like: Grammarly .
  • Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by your teacher or professor.

Don’t feel sorry for the time you spend on this step, as it might let you avoid pitiful mistakes, and increase your chances of receiving a higher grade. Moreover, it will probably take you no more than 5-10 minutes.

Do you want to get help from a professional editor?

You can ask our writing team to help you with editing and proofreading your essay. It is a convenient option that will come in handy if you’re not sure about grammar, punctuation or word choice in your essay. You can send your request here.

We’ve made a brief checklist for you. Follow these points and you won’t forget any of the essential components of your essay.


  • Did you start with a catchy sentence, a quote, statistics, an interesting fact or an anecdote?
  • Did you fall into details, when your text was meant to provide further explanation?
  • Did you choose a thesis statement, which you have significant material to support?
  • Do each of your paragraphs start with a controlling idea?
  • Is each of your claims supported by concrete evidence?
  • Do your paragraphs end with transitional sentences?
  • Is your strongest evidence in the first paragraph of your body?
  • Did you restate your thesis?
  • Did you explain your findings?
  • Did you end with a strong point, suggestion, quote, or rhetorical question?

Do you have everything done? Don’t forget a few finishing touches:

  • Run your essay through the plagiarism checking software to make sure it is unique and satisfies the requirements of your learning institution.
  • Print your paper or send it directly to your teacher or professor.
  • Hand it in on time.
  • And rest because you deserved it.

Plagiarism checking is an important step, as your learning institution might also do this check to confirm if you didn’t copy your work from an outside source.

So, these were our tips for anyone asking “How to write an essay in one hour?”

We hope these tips are useful for you, and that they will help you to write your essay on time. However, if you feel uncertain about your time-management skills, or the motivation to get up and work on your essay, consider the option of getting help with writing your essay. You can order essays on any topic you need, and receive them as fast as you need.

Wrapping Up

We know that forcing yourself to start working on your assignment is the hardest part of this process. However, once you have started, you can complete it in just one hour by using our helpful tips.

Don’t procrastinate, and good luck!

Karen Palmer

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How to Write an Essay in an Hour without Missing Key Points

When it comes to essay writing, some students seem to be just naturally cut out for this sort of assignments: when they are assigned such a task, they simply sit down, and voila, in an hour or two it is all done and ready. Meanwhile, their less talented classmates spend hours upon hours suffering the real anguish of trying to write anything, worrying about the outcome. Finally, they submit a forced, clumsy, poorly worded paper.

Well, let us assure you: it has very little to do with talent and a whole lot with your formed writing habits, practices and tricks you’ve learned along the way. Anybody can learn how to finish an urgent essay in 1 hour and do an excellent job of it. So let’s get started to show how it is possible to do.

How to Write an Essay in an Hour

How to Finish an Essay in an Hour: Useful Tips

#1 make sure you understand the question.

It may sound obvious, but before you start writing, you should take a quick look at your question or prompt and ask yourself whether you are sure you get it right. Often it happens that a student, who is in a hurry, just glances at the prompt, gets the gist of it and immediately plunges into writing – only an hour later he discovers  that he missed some little detail that makes all the work he has done completely irrelevant.

#2 Define Your Point

Any essay is written to defend or prove a point. Make sure you clearly understand what yours is before you start working, otherwise, your paper is going to be fuzzy and vague. If you aren’t well-versed on the topic, think back to everything you know about it and try to choose something you are sure you will be able to write about – you don’t want to find out that you have nothing to back you up after you’ve written a page or two.

#3 Plan Beforehand

It may take you a couple of extra minutes to jot down a basic plan of your essay, but don’t consider this time lost. Decide beforehand what you are going to write in each part of the paper, what points will be your main and supporting ones, how you are going to logically connect body paragraphs and so on. Thus, you:

  • won’t forget to mention a crucial fact when it is most appropriate,
  • won’t have to stop ever so often to collect your thoughts and decide what you are going to write next – you will simply follow the plan.

In the long run, planning will save your time, not waste it. If you are fuzzy on the details, use “ A Short Guide to Essay Planning and Structure ” provided by the University of Birmingham until you get the hang of it.

#4 Use Simple Language

People tend to use big words in order to make their writing look deeper and more serious, especially when they feel insecure about their knowledge on the subject. Don’t fall into this trap. Firstly, verbosity and tendency to use long words, complex sentences and structures make your writing look silly, not more refined. Secondly, all this extra padding takes longer to write, and your job is to cut this time.

#5 Set aside Some Time for Proofreading

Again, it may seem that minutes spent on proofreading can be better applied for doing actual writing. Don’t be tempted to write essays without proofreading even if you are bone-tired and are ready to just say “I’ve wasted enough of my life on this thing”. Last-minute check can detect a nasty mistake, a missed quotation or a serious formatting screw-up. Ideally, you should do your proofreading at least one day after finishing your paper, but if you have to hurry, do it whenever possible. Better yet, ask a person you trust to do it for you.

How to Finish an Essay Quickly when You Are Stuck

Let us take into account another situation: you’ve been writing for quite a while, and at first, things went smoothly, but now you’ve arrived at the final part of your essay and have no idea how to finish it. Perhaps you are too tired to think clearly, perhaps, you haven’t thought it through well enough, and now have trouble connecting the dots. Here are some things you can do:

Writing an Essay Quickly Is a Matter of Technique and Practice

Of course, talent plays an important role in one’s ability to do high-quality academic writing, but even without any writing aptitude, you can level up the writing skills by learning certain techniques, methods and tricks and carefully applying them. We hope the ones mentioned here will help you deal with the next writing assignment you get!

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how to write a good essay in 1 hour

Author: Patricia Jenkins

Patricia Jenkins is the senior writing advisor at FastEssay blog for international students that seek quick paper assistance. In her blog, Patricia shares useful tips on productivity, writing, research, references. Sometimes Patricia goes off topic by sharing her personal experience peppered with lively humor and healthy irony. View all posts by Patricia Jenkins

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how to write a good essay in 1 hour

Wondering what VCAA examiners might be looking for in a high-scoring essay? Each year, the VCE EAL Examination Reports shed light on some of the features that examiners are looking for in  high-scoring responses for the Listening and Language Analysis sections of the EAL exams. Let's go through 5 key points from the reports so that you know how to achieve a 10/10 yourself.

For advice on how you can apply the VCE EAL Examination Reports to strengthen your skills in the listening section, see Tips on EAL Listening .

Tip #1 Analyse How the Overall Argument Was Structured 

Let’s take the 2017 VCAA EAL Examination Report as an example: 

‘The highest-scoring responses analysed argument use and language in an integrated way. Some responses used a comparative approach that analysed arguments and counter arguments from both texts in the same paragraph. However, only comparatively few responses focused on how the overall argument was structured .’

So how do we write about/analyse ‘how the overall argument was structured’? 

To save time during the exam, we can adopt templates that can help us transfer our thoughts into words in a fast and efficient way.  You can construct your own templates, and you may want to have various templates for various scenarios or essays. Below, I have provided a sample template and I’ll show you how you can use this template in your own essays.

Sample Template

(AUTHOR)’s manner of argument is proposed in real earnest in an attempt to convince the readers of the validity of his/her proposal first…and then supplying solutions to...(DIFFICULTIES), thus structuring it in a logical and systematic way.

The above template ONLY applies to opinion pieces that satisfy these 2 rules:

  • The opinion piece commences by presenting the ‘bad effect/consequence/situation’ of the topic 
  • The opinion piece supplies the solution to resolve the ‘bad effect/consequence/situation’ of the topic 

For example, say the author, John White, contends that plastic bags should be banned and does so by:

  • commencing the piece with the fact that plastic bags can travel long distances by wind and water. They litter our landscapes, float around in waterways, and can eventually end up in the oceans, ultimately polluting the ocean and posing a threat to marine animals
  • then supplies solution to ban plastic bags 

When we use our template here, the intro may look like this - note that I’ve bolded the ‘template’ parts so you can clearly see how the template has been used:

John White’s manner of argument, proposed in real earnest in an effect to convince the readers of the validity of his proposal of banning plastic bags by first exposing the deleterious nature of these bags to our environment and natural habitat and then supplying solutions to ban plastic bags, putting it in effect in a logical and systematic way.

Head to Introductions for EAL Language Analysis for more templates and guidance on how to nail your Language Analysis Introduction. 

Tip #2 Keep the Listening Answer Succinct 

The 2019 VCAA EAL Examination Report states: 

‘Students are encouraged to use the key words in the questions as a focus for their listening...Short-answer questions require concise and precise answers. Responses that demonstrated understanding provided what was asked for without including extraneous information .’

Some students tend to add unnecessary information in their answers. Although the answers are correct, they will NOT earn you any extra marks. Listening answers should NOT be a mini essay. Writing irrelevant information will not only waste time but may also compromise the accuracy and overall expression of your response. 

Tip #3 Practice Makes Perfect

The examination reports frequently point out that students struggle with identifying and describing the tone and delivery. For example, the 2017 VCAA EAL Examination Report states:

‘Identifying tone and delivery is challenging for students and emphasis on this is needed...Students are encouraged to use the key words in the questions as a focus for their listening’. 

The good news is, just like most skills, listening and identifying the tone can both be improved with practice. In fact, VCAA acknowledges the importance of daily practice as well. 

‘Students need to develop their critical listening skills both in and outside of the classroom. They are encouraged to listen, in English, to anything that interests them – current affairs, news, documentaries and podcasts can all be useful.’ (2017 VCAA EAL Examination Report)

Practicing listening does not necessarily mean sitting down and doing Section A questions; it can be as simple as talking with classmates, teachers, neighbours, friends from work, church, etc. 

Take a look at our EAL Listening Practice and Resources for a comprehensive list of external resources for practicing listening and a step-by-step guide on how to use them!

Tip #4 How To Formulate a Cohesive Response?

VCAA encourages us to write answers that make sense to the reader and are grammatically correct. Make sure you do address, and ONLY address, what the question is asking, because marks will not be rewarded for redundant information. 

‘Short answer questions require concise and precise answers. Responses that demonstrated understanding provided what was asked for without including extraneous information . Expression skills need to be sufficiently controlled to convey meaning accurately. ’ ( 2017-2019 VCAA EAL Examination Report )

HINT: This may sound super simple, but a lot of EAL students struggle with it. If you do, you are definitely not alone. Some students seek to use complicated words and/or sentence structures, but we should not compromise clarity over complexity.  

Tip #5 Use a Range of Precise Vocabulary 

VCAA acknowledges the importance of sophisticated vocabulary. This phrase ‘a nalysis expressed with a range of precise vocabulary’ has been repeatedly used to describe high-scoring essays in the examination reports from 2017 onwards

Below is a list of commonly misspelled, misused and mispronounced words. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, check out Collins Online Dictionary for definitions OR you can use a physical copy of the Collins Dictionary (which you are allowed to bring into the exam and SACs).

Words That Look the Same/Have Super Similar Spelling:

  • Abroad vs. Aboard
  • Adapt vs. Adopt vs. Adept
  • Affect vs. Effect
  • Altar vs. Alter
  • Angel vs. Angle
  • Assent vs. Ascent vs. Accent
  • Aural vs. Oral
  • Baron vs. Barren
  • Beam vs. Bean
  • Champion vs. Champagne vs. Campaign
  • Chef vs. Chief
  • Chore vs. Chord
  • Cite vs. Site
  • Compliment vs. Complement
  • Confirm vs. Conform
  • Contact vs. Contrast vs. Contract
  • Contend vs. Content
  • Context vs. Content
  • Costume vs. Custom
  • Counsel vs. Council vs. Consul
  • Crow vs. Cow vs. Crown vs. Clown
  • Dairy vs. Diary
  • Decent vs. Descent vs. Descend
  • Dessert vs. Desert
  • Dose vs. Doze
  • Drawn vs. Draw vs. Drown
  • Extensive vs. Intensive
  • Implicit vs. Explicit
  • In accord with vs. In accordance with
  • Later vs. Latter
  • Pray vs. Prey
  • Precede vs. Proceed
  • Principal vs. Principle
  • Sweet vs. Sweat
  • Quite vs. Quiet

For an overview of the EAL study design plus tips and tricks for reading comprehension, time management and more, check out The Ultimate Guide to EAL .

[Video Transcript]

‍ Hey guys. So previously I've done a video where I talked about how to write a thousand word, a thousand, a thousand-worded essay, and one hour. And so that segues into this particular video where I'm talking about writing three essays in three hours. So if you haven't watched that video, then I'll pop it up in the comment. I'll pop it up in the card up above. I would recommend you go watch that first before you watch this, because pretty much all of the concepts that I talk about in that video, uh, I just expected details that you should know for this video. So instead of actually breaking down the essays as I did in the previous video, what I'm going to do this time is talk more so about, you know, how to actually write three essays in three hours and just not get burnt out and not die, basically. ‍ Yeah, it's that serious. So I've got a few tips for you guys, but I'll keep this short. First thing is that yes, you do want to practice at least one time writing three essays in three hours. And the reason why I say that is because inevitably there will come times where one essay will kind of overlap into another hour. And you just want to ensure that you can know how to handle those situations when we're practicing in one hour blocks. I think it's fantastic to make sure that we can do that, but then kind of like three hours and three essays is another ballgame altogether. So I would recommend at least practicing once sitting down somewhere and just smashing out the three hours worth of work, just so that you know exactly what it's going to feel like when you go into the exam. Now, most schools will actually offer a, like a mock exam for you to do so that literally could be your one practice that you just need. But if you were like me, you might want to do it twice. So in your own time, kind of print off your own exam paper and go ahead and just set aside three hours and just do it that way. The second thing is I heavily emphasized doing reading time. So reading time is pretty much your mental thinking game going strong. And this is where a lot of your pre-work will be done before we actually go into the essays themselves. So make sure you practice reading time. It's 15 minutes before the actual exam, but in that 15 minutes, you can plan three of your essays and you can look up in your dictionary, any key words that you might want to define, or you could even look up the dictionary and try to find synonyms for particular keywords. So what I mean by that is when you open up a dictionary and you look up that word inside the dictionary, often the definition for it will have synonyms for it. So that's like my little hack that I had when I was at school. And then the last thing I would say is just make sure you know what to do if you go over time. So, like I mentioned before, there may be situations where, you know, worst case scenario, you don't finish your essay in time. And that could be because of many reasons. But first thing for you to remember is if you're running over time, sacrifice your conclusion first, do not sacrifice your third body paragraph. I think mostly what happens is students will kind of be somewhere in the third body paragraph for that essay, but rather than skipping that and just do it a little bit of a mess to finish it up and then going into the conclusion, finish off your third body paragraph. And then just forget about the conclusion. The reason why I say that is because a conclusion is basically just the summary of what your entire essay is about. It's not really supposed to be, to add in any new information where as your third body paragraph. You're still explaining your ideas. You're still elaborating and discussing the prompt itself. So that is way more important to get you the marks that you need than a conclusion. The next thing I would do if you're running behind is save a proofreading until very last. So in the last video I talked about doing proofreading last five minutes of every essay. But if you do not have time for that later, leave all your proofreading until the very end and, and you might find that you only have five minutes, it's true proofread all of your essays, but at least you kind of have that reassurance was that you made yourself more time to write beforehand. And so if you literally find yourself writing right up until the last minute and you can't perforate fine sacrifice that too. ‍ Now last thing is, let's just say that you have sacrificed your conclusion and you're still writing your third body paragraph right up until the very last minute. You still have at least half a paragraph to go, but you know, the first hour is over and you need to move onto your second essay. I feel like you can either approach this two ways. The first way is just finish it off, but then move on to the next one as quick as possible. And obviously your hope there is that you will finish the second essay in time within that hour. So that by the time you get to your thing, essay, you are on track again. Right? But in the other alternative that you could do, and probably one that I via towards a little bit more is just stop your third paragraph. Okay? You still have maybe five more sentences you still want to write, but just move onto your next one. I think that's kind of important because what happens is once we start running into the next hour, you will find that with your first essay, you'll run maybe five minutes into your second hour, but then you might find that you run 10 minutes into the third hour with your second essay leaving only 15 minutes to finish your third essay. And that might not be like what you want. And you might know that you just won't be able to achieve that because the third essay is maybe the hardest one that you left to last. And that's the one that usually takes you the longest. So yeah, like these are just thoughts and considerations for you guys to take away with whatever you guys do. I think just be strategic. Think about these things beforehand, because they are things that could trip you up when you are in the exam, you're stressed, you're anxious, you're under time pressure and you just need to get things done. It might kind of make you do like bad decisions or you might do something out of the ordinary that you normally wouldn't do. But if you think about these things beforehand and think about, okay, this is what I'm going to do. If this situation occurs, then at least you kind of have some control over what's happening. And that gives you a little bit of reassurance. That is it from me. I wanted to let you guys know that because we are approaching the end of year. And I know that you guys might not need English help from me very shortly, especially when you're in year 12. I wanted to let you guys know that I do have a personal YouTube channel as well. So that's just linked up above for you. And also in the description box below. If you're interested in following me there, then go ahead and subscribe. I would really love to see you guys there and just be able to still have the connection with you guys. You know, it'd be nice to not only just have you guys on board with me for a year, and then you guys kind of disappear and do your own thing, I'd still really love to stay in contact and be able to hear how you guys are going to once you finish school. So I will see you guys next time. Bye!

Are you a slow writer who struggles to write down all of the information that you hear in the listening audio clip? Have you ever been in a situation where the next sentence in the audio comes up way before you finish writing down information from the previous sentence? If yes, then this blog is for you! 

You want to write down as much useful information as possible in a short period of time during your VCE EAL exam, so it is very useful to implement a system of techniques that works well for you personally. Here are some ideas and suggestions that you may want to use to increase the speed of your note-taking. 

1. Use Different Coloured Pens or Keys for Different Speakers

Under the stress of exams/SACs, you might lose track of which speaker is talking. This is likely to happen if the speakers are of the same sex or they sound similar to each other (from personal experience, I had a listening task with 3 female speakers!) A simple way to remind yourself of who is speaking is to take side notes with different coloured pens and/or symbols for different speakers. 

‍ For example:

If in the audio: Lisa says, ‘The weather is lovely’ and Cici replies ‘Let’s go for a run’. We can write side notes using L (for Lisa) and C for Cici, which may look like: 

L ‘weather is lovely’

C 'Let's go for a run’ 

Or, you could use a red pen for Lisa and blue pen for Cici. 

2. Use Signs & Symbols to Replace Words

Using symbols is an efficient way to increase the speed of writing and ultimately increase the amount of information that you can record. Here are some examples of symbols I have used in the past and the meanings I gave them. 

→ Leading to/Stimulate/Result in

↑ Increase   

↓ Decrease  

⇆ Exchangeable 

☓ Cross/Incorrect   

∴ Therefore OR Consequently 

?  Uncertain/Possibly/Disapprove  

> Greater than/More than

< Less than/Fewer than

~ Approximately OR Around OR Similar to OR Not Equal OR Not the same as

c/b Could be 

- Negative/Before 

+ Positive/Plus

3.Use Abbreviations

Use abbreviations that work for you. There is no right or wrong here as the ‘blank space for scribbles’ will not be marked. Abbreviations can take the form of short notes or get to be creative here!

You can also choose to keep only the essential vowels and consonants in words. Or, leave out the double consonants and silent letters. The following list contains some abbreviations for common words or phases:

Answer = answ

About = abt

Morning = am 

Afternoon = pm

As soon as possible = asap 

Before = bef/b4

Between = bt

Because = bc

Common = com

Condition = cond

Diagnosis = diag

Regular = reg

Notes = nts

With respect to = wrt 

Will be = w/b 

Within = w/i 

Without = w/o

Here are some examples of how you might use abbreviations and symbols:

‘You should remember to take notes in classes’ 

Can be abbreviated as:

‘U shld  rmbr t tk nts in cls’

Example 2  

‘Gidon has a rare blood condition which means he visits the hospital quite regularly. Since his diagnosis, Gidon’s family paid more than ten thousand dollars just to visit the hospital. Gidon initiated a petition that advocates for lowering the fees for parking in hospitals and putting a limit on how much the hospital can charge.’
  • G has rare blood condi → he  visits hosp. v. reg.

I've used G as an abbreviation for Gidon, and the arrow here represents that the stuff on the left side of the arrow (i.e. his rare blood condition), led to the events on the right side of the arrow (i.e. regular hospital visits). 

  • Since his diag. →  G’s fam paid  >$10K to visit hosp.

Here I’ve also used the arrow, indicating that the stuff on the left side of the arrow (i.e. his diagnosis), led to the events on the right side of the arrow (i.e. Gidon's family paid more than 10 thousand dollars). I’ve also used  >$10K to indicate that the amount Gidon’s family paid is more than 10 thousand dollars.

  • G → petition → advocates for  ↓ $ parking & limit how much hosp. can charge

Using my symbols and abbreviations above, it’s your turn to work out how I’ve abbreviated this ;)

I hope these tips and tricks will assist you with note taking during the EAL listening SACs and exam. If you would like more practice on the listening section, check out the following blogs!

EAL Listening Practice and Resources

EAL Listening Practice

Tips on EAL Listening

Passage 1: Act 1 Scene 3

   [Aside] Two truths are told,

   As happy prologues to the swelling act

   Of the imperial theme.--I thank you, gentlemen.

[Aside] This supernatural soliciting

   Cannot be ill, cannot be good: if ill,

   Why hath it given me earnest of success,

   Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor:

   If good, why do I yield to that suggestion

   Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair

   And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,

   Against the use of nature? Present fears

   Are less than horrible imaginings:

   My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,  

   Shakes so my single state of man that function

   Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is

   But what is not.

Passage One from Act 1 Scene 3 takes place just after Macbeth has just been announced as Thane of Cawdor proving part of the Witches’ prophecy true “All hail Macbeth…Thane of Cawdor…/that shalt be king hereafter.” This part of the play is the first insight we have on Macbeth’s inner thoughts.  

Macbeth’s firm and thoughtful tone in the opening alliteration “two truths are told ” stresses how serious he takes the Witches’ predictions. Shakespeare presents this passage as a soliloquy in order to convey Macbeth’s true inner thoughts and motives. As this is Macbeth’s first soliloquy, it emphasises the strong possibility of Macbeth heading down a dark journey as he cannot forget the Witches’ predictions “(it) cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, / Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth?”

Shakespeare uses the metaphor of theatre for fate . The meta-theatrical reference, ‘as happy prologues to the swelling act’ makes the audience consider the action that will unfold in the following scenes through foreshadowing.

Macbeth feels that committing regicide will be a “supernatural soliciting”. The word “supernatural” demonstrates that Macbeth acknowledges that such an act is “against the use of nature.” It suggests that if Macbeth kills Duncan, he will forever be trapped in the supernatural world for his dishonourable action. The alliteration of “supernatural soliciting” sounds incredibly seductive, and therefore highlights Macbeth’s lust and thirst for the crown.

There is a physiological response to his unnerving thoughts as the ‘horrid image doth unfix my hair’ and ‘my seated heart knock at my ribs’ , emphasising the horror of Macbeth has with himself  at his thoughts.

The personification “my seated heart knock at my ribs” once again depicts the increasing fear that Macbeth experiences as his heart is not “seated” with its connotations of calmness and steadiness but “knock(ing)” which is associated with alarming fear.

As Macbeth struggles with his conscience and fears “my thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,/ Shakes so my single state of man,”  he is uncertain whether or not he should take the prophecy into his own hands and murder Duncan or, let time decide his fate “time and the hour runs through the roughest day”. The consonance ’s’, Shakes so my single state of man”.. ‍

The alliteration “smothered in surmise” demonstrates how Macbeth’s vivid imagination causes him to struggle with fear and hesitate undergoing the action that is foreseen by him as a “horrid image.” These mental images are of significance throughout the play as it is evident that Macbeth’ conscience results in him “seeing” a dagger and also Banquo’s ghost.

The antithesis “and nothing is,/ But what is not” is deliberately broken up into two lines to demonstrate the ambiguity of Macbeth’s thoughts and the confusion which evidently contributes to his overall fear. Macbeth’s actions become overpowered by his imagination until ‘nothing is but what is not’ or imagination carries more weight than action. The partial alliteration of ‘smother’d in surmise’ and the antithesis of ‘nothing is but what is not’ makes this notion seem again, particularly seductive to the audience. The word ‘smother’d’ , with it’s connotations of oppression, further amplifies the notion and even suggests that Macbeth’s imagination takes the place of his will.

3. Sample Essay Topics

4. A+ Essay Topic Breakdown

Things Fall Apart is usually studied in the Australian curriculum under Area of Study 1 - Text Response. For a detailed guide on Text Response, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Things Fall Apart is set in a fictional group of Igbo villages called Umuofia, around the beginning of the twentieth century. The first half of the novel is dedicated to an almost anthropological depiction of Igbo village life and culture through following the life of the protagonist Okonkwo . Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive in the nine villages and beyond. He has dedicated his life to achieving status and proving his strength to avoid becoming like his father Unoka – a lazy, improvident, but gentle man. Weakness is Okonkwo’s greatest fear. After men in another village kill a woman from Umuofia, a boy named Ikemefuna is given to Umuofia as compensation and lives in Okonkwo’s compound until the Gods decide his fate. Ikemefuna quickly becomes part of Okonkwo’s family; he is like a brother to Okonkwo’s son Nwoye and is secretly loved by Okonkwo as well. Over the next three years, the novel follows Okonkwo’s family through harvest seasons, religious festivals, cultural rituals, and domestic disputes. Okonkwo is shown to be more aggressive than other Igbo men and is continually criticized and rebuked by the village for his violence and temper . When the Oracle of the Hills and Caves decides that Ikemefuna must be killed, Okonkwo is warned by a respected elder to have no hand in the boy’s death because Ikemefuna calls him ‘father’. However, afraid of being thought weak, when Ikemefuna runs to Okonkwo in hope of protection, Okonkwo delivers the fatal blow. Ikemefuna’s brutal death deeply distresses Nwoye who becomes afraid of his father. 

At the end of Part One, Okonkwo accidentally kills a clansman at a funeral after his faulty gun explodes and is exiled to his motherland, Mbanta. During his exile, British missionaries arrive in Mbanta and establish a church. Nwoye, disillusioned with his own culture and Gods after Ikemefuna’s death, is attracted to Christianity and is an early convert . This is a heartbreaking disappointment to Okonkwo. When Okonkwo and his family return from exile after seven years they find that the missionaries and colonial governors have established Umuofia as the center of their new colonial government . Clashes of culture and morality occur, and as the British make the Igbo more dependent on them through introducing trade and formal education, the Igbo way of life is continually undermined . When a Christian convert unmasks an egwugwu during a tribal ritual, a sin amounting to the death of an ancestral spirit, the egwugwu burn down the village church. The men who destroyed the church are arrested and humiliated by the District Commissioner, and Okonkwo beheads a court messenger at a village council in rebellion. When none of his clansmen rise with him against the British, Okonkwo realizes his culture and way of life is lost and commits suicide in despair. Suicide is a crime against the Earth Goddess, Ani , so Okonkwo is left to rot above ground in the Evil Forest, like his father Unoka – a shameful fate he spent his life desperate to avoid. The final paragraph, written from the perspective of the District Commissioner, reduces Okonkwo’s life to a single sentence about his death in his planned book The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of The Lower Niger . Achebe has filled an entire novel with evidence of the complexity and sophistication of Okonkwo’s individual and social life and the District Commissioner’s casual dismissal and belittling of him causes us to flinch with horror and dismay. This is a metaphor for the reduction of Igbo culture in the eyes of its colonizers.  

The title gives away the plot of the novel and anticipates the collapse of Okonkwo and his society. Things Fall Apart is about the connection between the tragic downfall of Okonkwo , who fate and temperamental weakness combine to destroy, and the destruction of his culture and society as the Igbo way of life is assailed by forces they do not understand and are unprepared to face . 

A Full and Fair Representation of Ibo Traditional Life

The first part of the novel presents the traditional world of the Ibo with specificity and vibrancy . The imbedded descriptions of the patterns of interaction, daily routines and seasonal rituals of Ibo life creates an overwhelming impression of community and shared culture. We see the established system of values which regulates collective life and how closely related this is to natural cycles and environments. The Ibo’s moral values are contained in sayings and stories, rituals and festivals. Achebe depicts a comprehensive and sustaining social, spiritual, economic, agricultural, and legal order. (Chapters to consider: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 19)

While Ibo society is marked by the internal coherence of its organization and the poetry of its rituals, this coherence is partially formed by the repression of the individual and the inflexibility of social norms. Achebe shows the violence, dehumanization, and discrimination vulnerable groups experience in Umuofia due to the rigid adherence to tradition and superstition. This includes the customary abandonment of newborn twins, the sacrificial murder of Ikemefuna in the name of justice, and the discriminatory caste structure that denies inclusion to the osu (Chapters 7, 18).

Obierika’s questioning of the stern logic of some customs suggests that many laws are enacted from a sense of duty and inevitability rather than from a firm conviction in their justice or efficacy (Chapter 13). The cultural demand for conformity places a huge moral and psychological burden on individuals who must reckon with the sometimes heartless will of the gods . This internal tension is epitomized in the character of Okonkwo, discussed below.  

Clash of Cultures

When the Ibo are confronted with rival institutions a mirror is held up to their society. Fall Apart honestly considers and reflects on Ibo practices, customs, values, and beliefs. The novel is a frank articulation of the nature of the African past and its relevance to the present and future . Achebe wants to illuminate Ibo culture to dispense with lingering colonial prejudices, but he is not sentimental or nostalgic for the past. Instead he is shifting through it to identify the valuable aspects of Ibo culture to bring into the future and help define Nigeria’s post-independence identity .

Achebe recognises that the colonial encounter which led, swiftly and seemingly inevitably, to the disintegration of Ibo culture revealed its profound weaknesses. Achebe suggests that with the arrival and contrast against another culture, a cultural reckoning was inevitable for the Ibo. However, cultural reckoning and revaluation is not the same thing as destruction and erasure . The British colonialists were a hostile force seeking cultural domination. By pointing out some of the weaknesses of the Ibo tradition, Achebe in no way excuses or justifies colonial domination or diminishes the pain and tragedy of the cultural erasure that occurred.

Colonial Domination

The anti-colonial position and purpose of the novel is powerfully clear. Achebe depicts the process of colonial initial establishment and the resultant cultural suspension of Ibo society. The British colonizers believed in their inherent cultural superiority and arrived in Umuofia with the intention to “bring civilization” (p.151) to Africa. They wanted to achieve full control by supplanting Ibo religion and culture with their own.

The British arrived quietly and non-confrontationally with their religion and the clans allow them to stay, misinterpreting their silence as peaceability . An Ibo proverb warns that there is danger in silence and nothing to fear from someone who reveals their motivations (Chapter 15). Obierika recognizes how the white man’s strategy disguised their intentions and gave them the freedom to grow and fortify. He explains the political consequences for the clan, now divided by the new religion, they can no longer act as one (Chapter 20). Without strength in unity, the Ibo are vulnerable to further encroachment of British control in their other institutions .

As only a small number of Ibo initially converted to Christianity, the church was only able to establish itself firmly in the villages because of the Ibo’s religious tolerance (Chapter 2, 22). Mr Brown learns about Ibo religion and his willful blindness to its complexity shows how the colonizers justified their colonial rule and imposition through labelling their subjects ‘primitive’ . Mr Brown understands that Christianity held no appeal for people well integrated in Ibo society, concluding that “a frontal attack on it would not succeed” (p.132) and thus introduces education as a new method of cultural displacement and erasure . Additionally, trade also increased the Ibo’s dependence on the introduced economy (Chapter 21).

From the very first introduction of the colonizers we understand that violence and fear were tools of oppression and dominance , forcing the Ibo to submit and keeping them unresisting (Chapter 15, 20, 23). Not only do the British impose foreign rule on the Ibo and judge them by standards they do not recognize, the District Commissioner’s personal brand of ‘justice’ is corrupt and hypocritical. When the elders are arbitrarily and falsely imprisoned, he tells them that what they have done “must not happen in the dominion of our queen” (p.141), combining personal corruption with a state apparatus of paternalism, hegemony, and occupation (Chapter 20, 23).

Dogmatic zealot, Reverend Smith, encourages fanaticism in his converts, motivating them to insult and humiliate the clan (Chapter 22). Under Reverend Smith’s wrathful guidance, the colonial agenda becomes transparently aggressive . The grief and pathos of the Ibo’s situation and collective trauma is displayed evocatively in the final episodes as Achebe depicts this painful moment of acute crisis (Chapter 22, 23, 24, 25).

A recurring thematic question in Things Fall Apart is to what degree the collapse of the Ibo and the downfall of Okonkwo are due to their own internal weaknesses or the whims of a pernicious fate . 

The Ibo understand fate to be in a dynamic and somewhat ambiguous relationship with personal agency . This is evident in their proverb “when a man says yes his chi says yes also” (p.20) which acknowledges and privileges the role of an individual’s choices in shaping their destiny (Chapter 4). The saying “as a man danced so the drums were beaten for him” (p.135) also relates this idea – fate is a response to one’s behaviour. Okonkwo is warned that killing Ikemefuna, his surrogate son, is the “kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families” (p.49).This demonstrates the clan’s belief that the goddess’s (or fate’s) punishments are not arbitrary but the result of individual action (Chapter 8).

Although there is an element of chance in Okonkwo’s gun accidentally exploding and killing someone, his exile carries the suggestion of just comeuppance in its echo of the guns failure to shoot when purposely aimed at Ekwefi (Chapter 5, 13). Likewise, although the arrival of the Christians was unexpected and chanced, Nwoye’s rejection of his father is traceable directly to Okonkwo’s choice to kill Ikemefuna (Chapter 7). The desertion of people injured by Ibo traditions is a blow to the clan that feels equally earned (Chapters 16, 17, 18).  

After his exile, Okonkwo believes his chi has turned against him (Chapter 14). He renunciates the wisdom of his elders by denying the active role he had in directing the course of events. His refusal to reflect on the connection between his actions and punishment reflect his fatal flaws: hubris and willful lack of self-knowledge. By refusing to self-analyze and self-correct, Okonkwo loses the opportunity of redemption. Comparably, the Ibo, despite believing in a relationship between action and fate, do not reflect on the cause of their kinsmen’s desertion to Christianity. Achebe provides numerous examples of the clan’s dogma and brutal traditions denying people such as Ikemefuna or twins control over their lives (Chapter 2, 7). It was the shortcomings of the Ibo social and religious order that made members susceptible to the attraction of a competing value system with a more articulated concept of individuality. The Ibo’s cultural lack of self-apprehension meant they could not adjust their traditions to save themselves .

However, just as Achebe shows how individuals in the clan are at the mercy of rigid overarching authority, he shows how the fateful forces of history constrain human agency . The British’s hostile intention to erase and supplant the Ibo way of life is a punishment greater than the Ibo deserve and a force stronger than they can rise to. In his description of the grief and trauma of colonial imposition, Achebe demonstrates his compassion and sorrow for the Ibo as they faced the sweeping and unforgiving forces of change in their moment of historical crisis . 

Sample Essay Topics

1. "Things Fall Apart demonstrates how the values and customs of a society help us to deal with the familiar but not with change." Discuss.

2. "Traditional ideas of honour dominate Okonkwo's life and finally they destroy him." Discuss.

3. "Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories his mother used to tell." How does Achebe explore masculinity in Things Fall Apart ?

Now it's your turn! Give these essay topics a go. For more sample essay topics, head over to our Things Fall Apart Study Guide to practice writing essays using the analysis you've learnt in this blog!

A+ Essay Topic Breakdown

Whenever you get a new essay topic, you can use LSG’s THINK and EXECUTE strategy , a technique to help you write better VCE essays. This essay topic breakdown will focus on the THINK part of the strategy. If you’re unfamiliar with this strategy, then check it out in How To Write A Killer Text Response .

Within the THINK strategy, we have 3 steps, or ABC. These ABC components are:

Step 1: A nalyse

Step 2: B rainstorm

Step 3: C reate a Plan

Let's look at an essay prompt in this video below:

In Things Fall Apart , women suffer the most and are victimised by men. Discuss.

Whenever you are breaking a prompt down. Ask yourself...

  • What are the key words/ ideas that you need to address?
  • Which theme is the prompt referring to?
  • Do you agree with prompt? Or do you disagree with it?

The keywords of this prompt would be women, suffer,, victimised and men. The prompt requires us to address the role of women in the text and the ways in which they suffer in a society that is pervaded by patriarchal values. It also asks us, ‘Who is to blame?’ Are men solely responsible for the maltreatment or are there other causes to their suffering? The word ‘most’ in this prompt is actually there to give us a bit of room for discussion. Yes, women do suffer, but do they suffer the most? Or do men suffer as well?

Now that we’ve thought about the prompt, we can move on to the second step of the THINK part of the THINK and EXECUTE technique. To find out more about this unique strategy, I’d recommend downloading a free sample of our How to Write a Killer Text Response eBook!

Now, before we write our ideas in beautiful topic sentences, it’s often easier to simplify everything first. One way to do this is to work out whether the paragraph agrees or disagrees with the prompt at hand. We could follow this structure…

‍ Yes, the prompt is true because X Yes, another reason it is true is X While it is true, it is limited by X

By elucidating the ways in which women are seen as inferior to their male counterparts, the writer establishes his critique on a society that victimises and oppresses women. From the outset of the book, Okonkwo is characterised as a violent man who ‘rules his household with a heavy hand’, placing his wives in perpetual fear. The frequent beating and violence fortifies the portrayal of him as a man who is governed by his hatred of ‘gentility and idleness’, further showing the terror that his wives are forced to be living in.

"Do what you are told woman. When did you become one of the ndichie (meaning elders) of Umuofia?"

He also sees his wife’s mere act of questioning as disrespect, as evidenced through the ways in which he implies that she is overstepping her role.

“There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders"

This simile also shows how women are often marginalised and treated as outcasts, underlining the overarching yearning for social justice throughout the text. This pitiful image of women looking ‘on from the fringe’ also helps Achebe relay his criticism of gender double standards and the unfairness that Igbo women are forced to live with. Achebe’s sympathy for women’s suffering and condemnation of men’s mistreatment towards are also evident through his depiction of a society that normalises misogyny.

‘His mother and sisters worked hard enough, but they grew women’s crops… Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crops’

The personification of the crops, in particular, the men’s crops, the ‘yam’, being the ‘king of crops’ establishes this gender hierarchy in yet another way. More specifically, the position of men in the social hierarchy is highlighted and the negative connotation attached to the ‘women’s crops’ undermine their hard work, rendering it in significant. While women are the main victims of Igbo gendered prejudice, Achebe does not disregard the undue burden that societal expectations impose on men.

‘He was afraid of being thought weak.’

Achebe explores the burdens of unrealistic expectations that are placed on both men and women. This quote exemplifies societal expectations on men to be strong, powerful and fearless leaders who never show emotions. Achebe’s sympathies regarding these expectations show us that this is an important critique in Things Fall Apart that we can analyse.

If you find this helpful, then you might want to check out our Things Fall Apart: A Killer Text Guide where we cover 5 A+ sample essays (written by a 50 study scorer!) with EVERY essay annotated and broken down on HOW and WHY these essays achieved A+ so you reach your English goals! Let's get started.

The Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response

How To Write A Killer Text Response Study Guide

How to embed quotes in your essay like a boss

How to turn your Text Response essays from average to A+

5 Tips for a mic drop worthy essay conclusion

With contributions from Lindsey Dang.

‍ Read your text several times

Examiners and teachers love nuanced responses. The key to developing a complex response is by reading your text several times (at least three times before the exam). Each time you read it you should annotate, take notes down and you’ll notice more elements and recurring themes. Every student has a different interpretation to an essay question. As long as you  justify  your arguments (using quotes, meta-language etc), there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ interpretation in English.

Do not retell the story & integrate meta-language

Your teachers and tutors harp on this for a reason! Examiners have read the texts before, so you must assume that they know the plot inside out. Text response is an analysis of how the author (or director) constructs a text and the ways they imply a point of view or values. You will analyse the ideas, cultural references, context, narration explored in the text and answer some of the following questions: Why has the author included specific recurring motifs or portrayed the protagonist in a particular manner? What is the author suggesting? How does the author explore the theme of ‘x’?

For example, the themes of love and death are explored in Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Think about  how  it is explored and  what  the author is attempting to do or convey. Include meta-language (language that describes language) such as ‘imagery’, ‘motif’, ‘juxtaposition’ etc.

E.g ‘Agnes’ crave for love influences her path to execution  (idea and exploration of themes).  All her life, she had lacked love. She recounts through her first-person narrative that ‘everything I love is taken from me’, such as her beloved foster mother, Inga  (evidence).  Kent uses Agnes’ retrospective narrative  (how)  to allow readers to empathise  (why)  with Agnes’ ……

Quote banks

Allocate quotes to specific themes, and memorise them. Have at least 20 quotes up your sleeve! Pick quotes that aren’t the stock-standard and obvious ones as seen in study guide books so that you stand out amongst your peers. You should also be aware of  how  to embed and integrate them into an essay, as well as picking quotes that aren’t too long.

If you are a visual learner, mind maps are a great tool for any subject you are studying and particularly useful for English. Collate all your notes, sort them into sub-categories such as THEMES, CHARACTERS, ELEMENTS and you’ll find overlaps between all sorts of elements.

To read a detailed guide on Text Response (including a sample essay), head over to our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Whether you’re analysing at one article or two, there are plenty of things you can write about. In this, we’ll look at the structure of articles, the placement of different arguments and rebuttals, and other things you can use to nail your essay!

There are four main parts of an article:

What: The arguments that support the contention

When: Their placement in the article

How: The language techniques used to support them

Why: The overall effect on the reader

Try to address all these elements of the article in your essay, as it’ll ensure you’re not leaving anything out.

WHAT: Arguments

The arguments an author uses can usually fall into one of three categories - ethos, pathos, or logos.

Ethos arguments are about credibility, for example, using quotes from credible sources or writing about a personal anecdote.

Pathos arguments target the emotion of the reader. Anything that might make them feel happy, angry, sad, distressed and more can be classified as this kind - for example, an argument about patriotism when discussing the date of Australia Day.

Logos arguments aim to address the intellectual aspects of the issue, and will often have statistics or logic backing them up.

It’s important to mention the different arguments used in the article and it can be useful to take note of the category you think they fit into best. It’s also helpful to mention the interplay between these elements.

WHEN: Structure

Certain elements of the article can have a different effect on the reader depending on where the author places them.

If an author places their rebuttal at the beginning of the article, it can set up the audience to more readily accept their following opinions, and separates them from contrasting views from the get go. You can see this in the 2013 VCAA exam , where the author argues against opposing views early on in their article. In it, the author references the opposition directly as they say ‘some people who objected to the proposed garden seem to think that the idea comes from a radical group of environmentalists’, and rebut this point by proposing that ‘there’s nothing extreme about us’.

The placement of a rebuttal towards the end of the article can have the effect of the author confirming that their opinion is correct by demonstrating why opposing opinions are not, and can give a sense of finality to the article. It’s sometimes used when the author’s contention is a little controversial, as it’s less aggressive than a rebuttal placed at the beginning.

In some articles, the author won’t include a straightforward rebuttal at all. This can imply that their opinion, and theirs alone, is correct and must be supported - as it’s the only opinion that exists. Check out the 2018 VCAA exam for an example of this kind of article. ‍


An author’s contention is the main claim they’re trying to prove throughout their article.

Placing their contention at the beginning is the most direct method, and has the effect of positioning the reader to the author’s beliefs from the outset.

A contention placed at the end of an article can have the effect of seeming like a valid, logical conclusion to a well-thought through discussion. To see this in effect, you can look at the 2014 VCAA exam , where the article leads up to the author’s final contention that the governments needs to ‘invest in the next generation of technology’.

The contention can also be repeated throughout the article. The author may have chosen to present it in this way in order to continue reiterating their main point in the audience’s minds, aligning them to their views. An article that uses this technique is on the 2016 VCAA exam , as the author repeats multiple times that a ‘giant attraction’ must be built to encourage visitors and put the town ‘on the tourist map’.

The different ways an author orders their arguments is also something worth analysing.

A ‘weaker’ point might be one that the author doesn’t spend much time discussing, or that isn’t backed up with a lot of evidence. In comparison, a ‘stronger’ argument will generally have supporting statistics or quotes, and may be discussed in detail by the author.

If an author starts with their strongest point and ends with their weakest, they may be attempting to sway the reader’s opinions to align with their own from the beginning so that the audience is more likely to accept their weaker points later on. Take a look at the 2017 VCAA exam to see this kind of technique, as the author’s arguments - that ‘superfluous packaging’ will cause irreversible environmental damage, that the changes they want to implement are easy, and that students should prepare their own snacks rather than have takeaway - get less developed as the article continues.

On the other hand, ending with their strongest point can give the piece a sense of completion, and leave the reader with the overall impression that the article was strong and persuasive.

Want to learn more about these different article components and see how different A+ essays incorporate these elements? If so, check out our How To Write A Killer Language Analysis ebook for all of this and more!

HOW: Language

This refers to the different persuasive language techniques used in the article and their effect on the reader.

The main thing to remember is that the study design has changed from Language Analysis to Analysing Argument . This means you’ll need to focus on the language in relation to the argument - such as how it supports the author’s contention - rather than on the language itself.

If you’re after some more resources, you can look at some Quick Tips or this video:

WHY: Effect

There are many different ways you can describe what the author is trying to do through their article, but they all come down to one thing - persuasion, that is, the writer of the article is trying to get their audience to agree with them. Linking different arguments, their placement and the language that supports them to the overall authorial intent of the article is a great way to enhance your essay.

For some more information on this area, check out this blog post !

We’ve all been doing Text Response essays from as young as Year 7. At this point in VCE, we should be feeling relatively comfortable with tackling themes and characters in our essays. However, the danger with just discussing themes and characters is that we often fall into the trap of simply paraphrasing the novel, or retelling the story. So how do we elevate our essays to become more sophisticated and complex analyses that offer insight?

Before reading on, make sure you've read our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

An important distinction to be aware of is that the expectation of Year 11 English was geared more toward themes and characters. However in Year 12, teachers and examiners expect students to focus on the author’s construction of the text . By keeping in mind that the text is a DELIBERATE CONSTRUCTION, this can help eliminate retelling. A good guideline to follow is to include the author’s name at least once every paragraph.

Some examples are:

- (author) elicits

- (author) endorses or condemns

- (author) conveys

Move beyond talking about character and relationships. How are those characters used to explore ideas? How are they used to show readers what the author values?

To explore the text BEYOND characters, themes and ideas, tackle the following criteria:

Social, cultural and historical values embodied in text

In other words, this means the context in which the text was written. Think about how that influenced the author, and how those views and values are reflected in the text. How does the author create social commentary on humanity?

For a more in-depth look into this issue and how to get it right in your essays, read Context and Authorial Intention in VCE English .

Linguistic structures and features

These involve the author’s use of symbols, metaphors, subtext, or genres. Consider why the author chose those particular words, images or symbols? What effect did it evoke within the reader? What themes or characters are embodied within these literary devices? Metalanguage is essential in VCE essays, so ensure you are confident in this field.

If the text is a film, it’s important to include why the director chose certain cinematography techniques . Comment on the mise-en-scene, camera angles, overview shots, close ups, flashbacks, soundtrack, to name a few. Or if it’s a play, examine the stage directions. These contain great detail of the author’s intentions.

How text is open to different interpretations

“While some may perceive… others may believe…” is a good guideline to follow in order to explore different angles and complexities of the text.

Skilful weaving in of appropriate quotes

This is how to create a well-substantiated essay. To weave in textual evidence, don’t simply ‘plonk’ in sentence long quotes. Instead, use worded quotes within your sentences so the transition is seamless.

Do you know how to embed quotes like a boss? Test yourself with our blog post here .

Strong turn of phrase

Ensure your essay is always linked to the prompt; don’t go off on an unrelated tangent. Linking words such as “conversely” or “furthermore” increase coherence within your essay. Begin each paragraph with a strong topic sentence, and finish each paragraph with a broader perception that links back to the topic and the next paragraph. To see what this looks like in practice, check out What Does Improving Your English Really Look Like? for multiple sample paragraphs.

This is also where having a wide range of vocabulary is crucial to presenting your ideas in a sophisticated manner. Create a word bank from assessor’s reports, sample essays, or teacher’s notes, and by the end of the year you’ll have an extensive list to choose from. Also, referring to literary devices contributes to a great vocabulary, exhibiting a strong turn of phrase!

Consider the topic

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

What does it imply? Find the underlying message and the implications behind the prompt. There is always tension within the topic that needs to be resolved by the conclusion of your essay. A must-know technique to ensure you actually answer the prompt is by knowing the 5 types of different essay topics, and how your essay structure changes as a result. The How To Write A Killer Text Response ebook is a great way to learn how to identify the type of essay topic you have in front of you immediately, and start writing an A+ essay.

Finally, simply enjoy writing about your text! It will help you write with a sense of personal voice and a personal engagement with the text, which the teachers and assessors will always enjoy.

[Video Transcription]

You’ll often find that study guides begin with a section on historical context. Even though it might be tempting to skip over this section, there’s a lot you can take away from understanding the period of time in which your texts are set in. I’ll show you how with examples for both Ransom and The Queen in this video.

Let’s start with a brief overview of why you need to know the historical context. Context, a topic explored in detail in our  How To Write A Killer Text Response , plummets you back to the era of when your texts were set. You effectively ‘step into the shoes’ of the people living in that time, and in doing so, gain a better understanding of their views and values. People’s views and values are often shaped by important events of the time, social culture and norms, and everyday experiences. For example, think about your own context. You’re part of Generation Z, and one defining part of a Gen Z experience is growing up with technology from a young age. Social media is just normality, pretty much everyone has it, uses it as a source of online communication. So how does this shape your views and values? By having access to online information in this way, Gen Zers tend to be more passionate about social issues, because people of this age can leverage social media to voice their opinions or follow those who resonate with them. Only 20 years or so ago, we only had giant media that voiced their own opinions via newspapers or TV. You didn’t have such a wide array of voices from people of different races or experiences. Think about the recent death of George Floyd, and the incredible ripple effect his death had on the world and the power of social media in the Black Lives Matter movement.

So looking at The Queen and Ransom , we want to dive right into their respective eras and understand how people thought and felt during these time periods. This helps us better understand what the messages Frears and Malouf are trying to tell or teach us through their works, enabling you to write better essays. Let’s start with The Queen.

The 1980s to 1990s was a time when the world was  enamoured  by the Princess of Wales (or Diana, as we’ll call her). Her shyness, broken family history, ongoing charitable efforts, and iconic fashion choices made her a royal favourite. She was dubbed the ‘People’s Princess’ not only because of her relatability but also because of her tenuous relationship with the royal family. She’d been wronged by the royal family; first by Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla, then with the lack of support from the Queen when she asked for marriage advice.

At the time, public opinion of the royal family was greatly influenced by tabloid papers - after all, there was no Instagram for the royals to tell their own story. After an estimated 750 million people tuned in to watch Diana’s wedding to Charles, paparazzi began documenting her every move. Princess Diana became the most photographed person in the world, with paparazzi offered up to £500,000 for even grainy pictures of her (that’s equivalent to $1.5 million AUD today!). In the competitive fight to snap the most profitable photos of Diana, the paparazzi invaded her most private moments, taking shots of her kissing Dodi Al Fayed while on holidays, and sunbathing topless at her hotel in Spain. Diana’s despair and requests to be left alone remained unanswered, so when the paparazzi chased her to her death in 1997, the  public response was emphatic .

The public turned against Britain's press and photographers, and the overwhelming outpour of grief is a testament to the injustice the public felt on behalf of Diana. To add insult to injury, the monarchy’s initial reticent response was deemed inadequate, negatively shifting the public’s attitude or ‘mood’ - a term we often hear in the film - towards the royals. The monarchy needs to stay in the public’s favour, lest the end of the institution.

That’s why  The Queen   is a film about change on several fronts,  the first dynamic response from the public, The Queen abandoning royal tradition and acquiescing to public demand, and how all this happens within months of  Tony Blair’s new premiership .

With this, you can understand why change is one of the biggest themes discussed when comparing these two texts. Let’s look at Ransom.

Moving back a further 3000 years earlier than The Queen ,  Ransom is  a retelling the Trojan War, one of the most famous events in Greek mythology. To truly understand random, you must first familiarise yourself with Greek mythology, the Trojan War, and The Iliad. We’ll have a look at these three as if they’re matryoshka dolls (where dolls of decreasing size are place done inside another):

The biggest doll: Greek mythology

We’ll start with  Greek mythology  since it’s the umbrella knowledge you need to know before understanding the Trojan War and  The Iliad . Essentially a collection of stories about gods, heroes and other creatures, Greek mythology was used by ancient Greeks to explain the existence of the world. Without the scientific developments we’ve discovered to date, ancient Greeks attempted to explain the creation of the earth, human behaviour, death and love through their mythical stories. Notice how the gods  (Iris, Hermes)  appear  when  Priam needs help and advice throughout  Ransom. 

The reason why Greek mythology is still prevalent in modern society is that the lessons taught in these stories are still applicable today as they depict universal truths about human qualities such as our strengths and flaws. Without you even realising it, our world today is filled with references to Greek mythology. Take, for example,  Pandora , (the jewellery company that sells little charms you need to buy separately to make up a bracelet), whose namesake comes from the myth about Pandora’s box (basically, Pandora’s unchecked curiosity led her to open a forbidden box, releasing all illnesses and death into the world - side note, could we blame Pandora for COVID-19 then? Just kidding). Or take the first  God of War  game ,  which follows the story of Kratos whose ability to be a loving father is overpowered by his anger and desire for vengeance. Interestingly, the tale of Pandora’s box also is featured in this game.

Luckily for you though, you don’t have to be an expert in  all  Greek mythology, but you should probably have a good gist of the Trojan War.

The middle doll: The Trojan War  

Now we narrow things down to  one  of the most legendary Greek myths - the Trojan War.  This war might be familiar to you because it is the backdrop and context for Malouf’s  Ransom . 

The myth begins with  Zeus , the father of all gods, and his brother  Poseidon  lusting after the goddess of water,  Thetis . However, they are warned by  Prometheus , an intelligent mortal - better known for being chained to a rock as a result of stealing Zeus’ fire - that Thetis would give birth to a son who would be mightier than his father. Alarmed at this possibility, the two gods arrange for Thetis to marry Peleus, a mortal. Since humans were believed to be inferior to gods, this ensured that Thetis’ child would be a mere mortal, rendering the prophecy redundant.

Any potential issues appeared resolved until the gods omitted  Eris , the  goddess of discord  from Thetis and Peleus’ wedding invitation list. Furious at this insult, Eris arrives at the wedding with her own plans. She inscribes a golden apple with the words, ‘To The Fairest’ and throws it amongst the guests. Naturally, all goddesses want to claim the prize. Eventually, the choice is narrowed down to three of the most beautiful goddesses:  Aphrodite ,  Athena  and  Hera . Unable to reach a decision, they turned to Zeus to judge who should win the title. However, Zeus refuses to do so and instead, elects a mortal with good judgment of beauty to make the choice. This mortal is  Paris, Prince of Troy  and whose birth produced a prophecy that he would one day bring misfortune to his people and town.

The three goddesses approach Paris with not only their beauty but also bribes. Hera offers him power and control over Europe and Asia, Athena promises that she will make him a great warrior while Aphrodite proposes to him the most beautiful woman on earth. Since Paris is more interested in women than power and war, he awards Aphrodite with the golden apple. With this exchange sealed, the beginning of Troy’s troubles begin as the most beautiful woman on earth, Helen is already married to Menelaus, king of Sparta.

After a diplomatic mission to Sparta, Paris elopes with Helen, who falls in love with Paris upon their first encounter (literature concerning this part of the story remains ambiguous). Upon discovering Paris’ betrayal, Menelaus calls on Helen’s many suitors to invade Troy and retrieve his wife. His brother,  Agamemnon  recruits and leads the Greek army into battle against the city of Troy, and thus begins the Trojan War.

And finally, the baby doll: The Iliad

Homer’s  The Iliad  is a poem that begins ten years into the Trojan War. By now, Thetis, the goddess who had married Peleus, has given birth to their mortal son  Achilles , the mightiest of all Greeks, as predicted by the prophecy (Achilles should definitely be familiar to you because he’s the main character in Ransom !). Although he is a fighter for Agamemnon, their relationship is strained after Agamemnon demands that Achilles give up his beloved war prize,  Briseis . Since Agamemnon desires Briseis for himself, this enrages Achilles to the point where he refuses to fight in the Trojan War. This leads to dire consequences for the Greeks as they lose many men in battle and are forced to retreat to their ships after the Trojans successfully turn the tide of the battle.

Concerned for his Myrmidons (a group of the strongest and skilled warriors who fight for Achilles) yet too proud to budge from his position, Achilles is persuaded to allow his close friend and comrade Patroclus, to wear Achilles’ renowned armour and lead his Myrmidons into battle (ah, we’re starting to see even stronger connections to  Ransom  now). This strategy is designed to rouse fear in the Trojans and cause them to temporarily retreat - enough time to allow the Greeks to rest and recover - as they’d see ‘Achilles’ back in battle.

Despite Patroclus’ skills as a soldier, Achilles insists that Patroclus only fight until the Greeks can successfully fend off the Trojans away from their ships. During the fight, however, Patroclus disobeys Achilles’ orders and continues to pursue the Trojans back to their gates. At this point, he encounters and is killed by Hector, the prince of Troy and leader of the Trojan army.

Fuelled with rage and grief over Patroclus’ death, Achilles agrees to fight once again for the Greek army, much to Agamemnon’s pleasure. In their next battle, Achilles kills many warriors and the Trojans are forced to retreat back to the safety of their walls. Hector, against the will of his family, faces Achilles alone outside the walls of his home, knowing that Achilles is on a path to avenge Patroclus’s death. In a fierce battle between the two greatest Trojan war warriors, Hector was killed. Achilles takes Hector’s body with him and dishonours it day after day by chaining it to a chariot and dragging it along the walls of Troy. Malouf begins the  Ransom  story here. The gods agree that this blasphemous behaviour cannot continue and send the god Hermes to guide king Priam, father of Hector to the Greek camp. Once in their camp, Priam falls to his knees and pleads Achilles for the body of his son. Touched by the king’s words, Achilles relents, allowing Priam to finally hold a proper burial for Hector.

Appreciating the differences between  The Iliad  and Ransom storyline will lead to a better understanding of the themes and symbols in  Ransom .

One of the main differences between the two texts is their depiction of  Priam’s  journey to  Achilles . In  The Iliad , this journey is explored only momentarily and focuses more on the presence of Hermes. The inclusion of the new character  Somax  in Ransom also offers a new perspective on this old tale. While  The Iliad  only touches upon Achilles’ and Priam’s suffering, Malouf delves into the emotional journey that the characters undergo during the darkest episode in the Trojan War.

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

That’s why the themes of  grief ,  loss  and  death  should be quite prominent in your comparison between  Ransom  and  The Queen  along with the importance of  stories  and storytelling.

In my new study guide  Ransom and The Queen , I show you how you can use your knowledge you’ve learned there to write A+ essays. Take a look at our study guide below!

Additional resources for Ransom and The Queen

A Killer Comparative Guide: Ransom and The Queen

[Video] Ransom and The Queen (Themes, Film Techniques, Literary Devices)

How to Write a Killer Comparative Ebook

Ransom Study Guide

[Video] Ransom Themes (Revenge, Grief, Forgiveness and Essay Topics)

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How to Write a Good Essay in a Short Amount of Time

Last Updated: September 15, 2021 Approved

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 897,780 times.

Sometimes, you need to be able to write a good essay in a short amount of time for a timed exam, such as the Advanced Placement exams in high school. At other times, you might find yourself in the uncomfortable situation of having to write an essay fast because you procrastinated or let it sneak up on you. Although an essay written at the last minute will almost never be as good as an essay you spent more time on, putting together a decent essay quickly is still feasible. With a little planning and a lot of hard work, you can write an essay that’s good (or good enough!) in just a short time.

Doing the Prep Work for Your Essay

Step 1 Develop a plan.

  • Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses when devising your plan. [1] X Research source For example, if you are a good researcher but not great at editing, spend less time on the research section in favor of spending more time on the revising section.
  • Make sure to schedule breaks for yourself to refresh your brain and recharge yourself.
  • An example of a plan for a one-day essay writing project might look like this:
  • 8:00 – 9:30 – Consider an essay question and argument for the topic.
  • 9:30 – 9:45 – Take a short break.
  • 10:00 – 12:00 – Conduct research.
  • 12:00 – 13:00 – Outline the essay.
  • 13:00 – 14:00 – Take a lunch break.
  • 14:00 – 19:00 – Write your essay.
  • 19:00 – 20:00 – Take a dinner break.
  • 20:00 – 22:30 – Revise and copy edit your essay.
  • 22:30 – 23:00 – Print and prepare your essay submission. [2] X Research source

Step 2 Consider the essay question.

  • Make sure you understand what the question is asking for! If you provide a summary when the essay prompt asked you to “analyze,” you’re unlikely to do very well.
  • If you don’t have an essay topic, choose a subject that interests you and consider the essay question afterward. You are more likely to write a good essay on a topic that you’re interested in.

Step 3 Develop your argument or thesis statement.

  • If you don’t have much experience with your topic, it might be difficult to develop an argument. You can still consider your argument and then use your research to support or refute the claims you want to make.
  • A good exercise to help you quickly figure out your essay question and argument is to write “I am studying (choose a topic) because I want to know (what do you want to know) in order to show (this is where your argument goes).” [5] X Research source
  • For example, “I am studying the medieval witch trials because I want to know how lawyers employed evidence in their cases in order to show that the trial process influenced modern medical techniques and legal practices.” [6] X Research source
  • Consider counter-arguments in order to strengthen your essay.

Step 4 Research your essay topic.

  • Since you don’t have a lot of time to write, focus on one or two places where you can do research. For example, the library and internet offer many different options for sources. [7] X Research source
  • Just make sure that you use reliable sources, such as peer-reviewed journals, government and university websites, and newspapers and magazines written by professionals. Don’t use personal blogs, obviously biased sources, or sources that don’t have professional credentials.
  • You can draw upon information you know to speed up the research process. Simply find a (reliable!) source to support it and include it in your sources. [8] X Research source
  • Doing preliminary research online can point you to sources in a library such as books and journal articles. It can also point you in the direction of web sources including newspaper article archives or other research on your topic.
  • If you're reading books, "gut" the book to get through it quickly and move on to other sources. To "gut" a book, skim the introduction and conclusion to find the main arguments, and then pick a few details from the body of the book to use as evidence. [9] X Research source
  • Take notes on your research sources. These will show that you’ve legitimately researched the topic while giving credit to the person who forwarded the idea. [10] X Research source This is especially important if you plan to use direct quotes and will also help you add footnotes and bibliographic information to your essay without having to look them up in the sources.

Step 5 Write an outline of your essay.

  • Structure your outline as you will your essay, with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
  • The more detail you put into your outline, the easier and more quickly you can write the essay. For example, instead of just writing a basic paragraph about the body, flesh it out into bullet points or sentences that presents argument and supporting evidence. [12] X Research source

Writing an Untimed Essay

Step 1 Set a fixed amount of time to write.

  • Nothing will keep you from finishing an essay on time like goofing off online or ending up watching eight straight hours of Cartoon Network. Turn the TV off, switch your phone to silent, and exit out of Facebook and other social media/chat sites.
  • Make sure you have all your material nearby when you start to write. Getting up to fetch a book or a piece of paper or a snack will eat into your precious time.

Step 2 Write a catchy...

  • The most important part of your introduction is your argument or thesis statement. This tells the reader the point your trying to make in the essay. [15] X Research source
  • Write a “hook” that will grab the reader’s attention to start, then introduce the argument with a few relevant facts woven into the narrative. End by stating how you will demonstrate your points. [16] X Research source
  • An example of a hook could be, “People say Napoleon had a complex because of his size, but he was actually an average height for the time in which he lived.”
  • It's sometimes helpful to write the introduction after you have written the body so you know how to introduce the topic and your arguments best. [17] X Research source
  • A good rule of thumb is to not have the introduction be more the 10% of your essay. Thus, for a five page essay, you shouldn’t write more than one paragraph. [18] X Research source

Step 3 Write the body of the essay.

  • Pick two to three main points to help make your argument or thesis statement. Any fewer and you won’t have enough evidence for your argument and any more may make you not explore each point thoroughly enough. [20] X Research source
  • Keep your evidence to support the main points concise. Going off on explanatory tangents will cost you precious time.
  • Support your main points with the evidence compiled during your research. Make sure to explain how the evidence supports your claims! [21] X Research source
  • If haven’t reached your word limit, pick a main point and conduct more research on it to expand on your point. [22] X Research source

Step 4 Write as clearly as possible.

  • Avoid "fat" language when you write. Text that includes long prepositional phrases, passive verbs, and paragraphs that don't further your argument waste time that you could spend writing or revising your essay.

Step 5 Allow yourself to “free-write” to optimize your time.

  • Free-writing can also help you overcome writer’s block that results from not knowing how to say something. If you’re struggling with getting the wording of an idea just right, write it as well as you can and come back to it later.

Step 6 Write the essay conclusion.

  • The essay conclusion should also be relatively short. Aim for the conclusion to be 5-10% of your essay’s total length.
  • Aim to do more in your conclusion than just restate your thesis and the evidence you used. You could acknowledge the limitations of your argument, suggest a direction for future research, or expand the relevance of your topic to a wider field.
  • Just as you drew in reader with good introduction, end your conclusion with a sentence that make a lasting impression on your reader. [26] X Research source

Step 7 Revise and proofread your essay.

  • Re-read the entire essay. Make sure that you are still arguing the same thing at the end of the essay that you are at the beginning. If not, go back and adjust your thesis.
  • Make sure that your paragraphs build on one another and don’t feel haphazard. You can use transitions and strong topic sentences to help you draw connections between your paragraphs.
  • Spelling and grammar are the easiest mistakes to revise, but they cost you a lot of reader goodwill if you don’t fix them. [27] X Research source

Writing a Timed Essay

Step 1 Plan your work.

  • Read the prompt carefully! If the question asks you to take a position, take one. If it asks you to evaluate the events that led to the downfall of Rome, don’t just give a summary of Roman history. [28] X Research source
  • Jot down an idea map. You probably won’t have time to make a formal outline. However, having an idea of the main points that you want to touch on and how they relate will help you structure the essay. If you can’t figure out how to connect your main points, that’s a sign you need to think a little bit more before you start writing.
  • Figure out your argument. Once you’ve noted down some main points, figure out what you want to say about them. Even timed essays need a unified argument or thesis.

Step 2 Time your writing strategically.

  • For example, you wouldn’t want to spend the same amount of time and effort on a 3-paragraph essay question worth 20% as you would a 2-page essay question worth 60%.
  • If you see a question that you feel will be more difficult for you, it could be a good idea to tackle it first. This will get the hard stuff out of the way while you’re still fresh.

Step 3 Cut the fluff.

  • If you notice that your introductory paragraph starts with something broad or hugely general, such as “Throughout the history of time, humans have been fascinated by science,” cut it.
  • Don’t put anything in a timed essay that doesn’t support your point. If you are talking about the importance of religious belief in modern society, don’t dilute your point by also referencing socialism, Hollywood, and banana farming.

Step 4 Explain connections between evidence and claims.

  • Claim. This is the main argument of the paragraph. It is probably located in your topic sentence.
  • Evidence. This is the supporting detail that proves your claim.
  • Explanation. This connects the evidence back to your claim and explains why the evidence proves what you say it does.
  • If anything in your paragraph doesn’t fit one of these three elements, it’s a good sign you don’t need it in the paragraph.

Step 5 Leave time to revise.

  • Does the essay actually demonstrate and support what your thesis says is the main argument? It’s not uncommon for ideas to evolve as you write. If this has happened, tweak your thesis accordingly.
  • Do the paragraphs flow smoothly from one to the next? Timed essays don’t have the same standards that regular essays do, but your reader should still be able to follow your argument in a logical progression without feeling yanked around or lost.
  • Do you offer a conclusion that sums up your argument? Don’t leave the essay hanging without a conclusion. Even if it’s very brief, a conclusion will help your essay feel complete.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Transition words such as "furthermore", "indeed", and "in fact" can make your flow better. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Don't fluff up your essay too much. A reader will want you to get to the point as quickly as possible. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • When starting a new paragraph, don't forget to indent. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

If you need to write a good essay in a short amount of time, try to plan your argument and avoid distractions while you're writing. Before you start your essay, decide your thesis statement or the main argument you want to make. This will help you narrow down your research and write the essay quicker. Find a quiet place to work, turn your phone off, and avoid any other distractions. Make sure you schedule short breaks to avoid burn out. If you get stuck, write whatever you can, even if you think it’s really bad or doesn’t make sense. It will be much easier to edit once you’ve gotten the words on the page. Make sure you leave a few hours to revise and spellcheck your essay. For more tips from our Teaching co-author, including how to write a timed essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Two-Page Essay in One Hour

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Did you get an assignment that you think you can’t deliver within the given timeframe? Are you stressed out and don’t have a clue on how to handle the pressure? Fret not! In the article below, we, together with an expert academic writer from EssayService, a service both high school and college students use to  write my paper , will be sharing some valuable tips to help you write a spectacular essay within a short time.

Tips to Write a Two-Page in an Hour

Writing an essay requires expertise and extensive knowledge of the subject. You must have a good grip on the subject matter and understand the topic. If you have already spent ages in procrastination and are left with only an hour to submit the task, then you must be having cold feet. There are two ways to solve this problem. Either go for professional help or master the art of writing fast. If you think you lack the relevant writing skills required to complete an essay in a short time, then it is always wise to hire professional services. If you are looking for a writing company with a professional team of experts and editors, look no further. Write an essay in 1 hour with CustomEssayOrder and earn good grades. In case you are bent upon doing the task on your own from scratch, then check out the tips mentioned below:

Avoid Distractions

If you are short on time and there is only one hour to go, it is very important to minimize noise and distractions. Stay focused. This is perhaps quite important to complete a two-page essay. Please don’t keep your phone with you as it is quite distracting. Here are some dos and don’ts that help maintain a peaceful environment.

  • Sit on a writing table and maintain a correct posture
  • Don’t keep your phone with you
  • Browse through the net but only open relevant sites
  • Switch off the TV, radio
  • Please don’t listen to music while you work as it can distract you
  • Refrain from thinking about anything else other than the said topic

Make Sure You Understand the Topic

Make sure you have a good grasp on the given topic. Take a look at all the aspects and features you want to cover the topic. Brainstorm for ideas. Explore the content from different angles on the website. The more articles you read, the better your understanding of the topic will be. Get information on the subject from multiple sources to have an in-depth understanding of the subject. Here are some ways to make your understanding of the topic more sound:

  • Read research papers and articles from multiple sources
  • Check out any latest development on the topic
  • Brainstorm for ideas and jot them down on a piece of paper

Create an Outline

Once you have a grasp on the topic, now create an outline. Making a rough draft and adding the key points help you write better. This solves half of the problem. If you have trouble writing, then urgent essay writing services are there to help you. The professional team of writers and editors can ensure the content is written within the given deadline. Not only this, they can help draft a good quality essay. But if you want to do the task on your own, then here is how to craft an outline:

  • Note down all the points while reading various articles
  • Write them in a bullet form
  • Create a rough draft
  • Please give it a quick look
  • Ensure you have covered all the points

Write Your Essay

Writing an essay within an hour can be quite challenging, especially if you have to write a two-page essay. When you think of it, it seems impossible. But only with will power, a smart attitude, and some tips you can complete the writing task within the given deadline. If you don’t know how to write a 2-page essay, then here are some valuable tips for you. Don’t ponder and brood over the topic now. Since you have written the outline and collected all the relevant points, you can easily pen down the essay without worrying much. Most of the research work has been done while composing an outline, writing the points, doing some background reading. So now, it should only require a few minutes to write an essay. Make writing easy and not a difficult, hard-to-achieve task. Here are some tips to go about your writing task:

  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Now is the time to sit and write the thoughts
  • Make up your mind and address the key points
  • Write with a free mind
  • Keep a check on the word count
  • Don’t write anything irrelevant
  • Write all the paragraphs
  • Fill out the headings you have penned down above
  • Give several examples
  • Address those examples in more detail
  • Use clear and easy language
  • Don’t overcomplicate things

Once you have written the 2-page essay following the tips shared above, you can now easily submit the task. If you are finding difficulty of some sort and the word count is not completing. Try this tip: Write down the intro and conclusion first, then proceed with the rest of the paragraphs. It is said that the introduction takes the longest time. Once you have written the introductory paragraphs, the body and conclusion are relatively easy to write. Leave some room for editing and proofreading. Since you have not hired any service, you have to do the editing and proofreading on your own.

Edit and Proofread

Hire an expert who can edit and proofread the article if you can’t do it on your own. If you write ‘how to write an essay in an hour’ in the search engine, you will find plenty of writing companies. Please choose any of them and hire their services. This way, you will be sure that the work is delivered on time and of top quality. Students who write on their own must also edit and proofread before submitting the task to the professor. Here are some tips for editing and proofreading:

  • Correct the language and grammar
  • Check out the flow of the content
  • Improve the flow and consistency of the content
  • Since you only have an hour, it is best to read it out loud
  • Reading out loud helps you understand if all of it is making any sense
  • Proofread the content and remove any typo errors
  • Be sure there are no mistakes, and it is completely error-free

We hope this guide to writing an essay within a short time is going to be helpful. Don’t forget to include all of the above points. After submitting the task, you can now rest and relax as you deserve it!

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How To Write A Good Essay Fast

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How to Write an Essay Fast: Tips and Examples

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

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:

  • Make a plan for your writing process - The first and most important thing to do is to understand a thesis statement, spend 10-15 minutes planning your essay, and brainstorm some ideas about your main point.
  • Start essay writing - Start with a hook in the introduction; add three body paragraphs and explain your major point. Make a clear image of your ideas in the conclusion.
  • Edit your paper - Always keep the last 5 minutes for proofreading your essay; slowly read complex sentences to avoid any grammar mistakes; after editing, give the appropriate title to your work.

These are some useful short tips to do a paper fast. But if you don’t feel like doing any writing, you can use the help of qualified writing service to get yourself a solid essay.

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.

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

How to Write an Essay Fast

Step 1. Get Rid of Distractions and Plan Your Time

One of the reasons why you can't focus on writing is a constant distraction. Our digital gadgets distract us not only from the essay writing process but from many important things in life. So when you need to focus, set your mind on it and keep the electronic devices away from the working space.

The next step is to manage time. If you want to learn how to write essays quickly, you need to know how to divide the time left correctly. If you have only 2 hours before your deadline, it's crucial to distribute it accordingly. You have to do it in three main parts: outline, body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraphs. Besides that, keep extra 10 minutes for proofreading and revising your essay. Spend 25 minutes on essay structure and half of your 2 hours on shaping the paper's body. Usually, body paragraphs are needed most of the time, but distribution is on you. Spend more of it on the part you struggle to write.

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.

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!

There are many reasons why you can't finish your paper before the deadline. But it's not the end of the world, right? That's why essay writing services provide support for students. When you are in a position where you need to get your paper done fast by a professional, you can turn to EssayPro's cheap essay writing service. It's not a problem you have to worry about.

It doesn't matter if you need, for example, descriptive or expository essays, EssayPro's experts can provide both for you. You're just one click away from your perfect paper!

Need urgent writing assistance?

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

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How to Write a 500 Word Essay in an Hour

Student life.

July 20, 2019

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

By Rachel Smith

As a humanities student, I know what it’s like to struggle with the daunting task of writing a 500-word essay. You don’t know where to start, your thesis is nonexistent, you’re dreading the inevitable late-night ahead, and you’re struggling just to turn thoughts into words.

Three hours later, and you’re crying into your pillow out of frustration.

Trust me -- been there, done that. I study three subjects at Sixth Form and luckily for me, all three are essay subjects (English Literature, English Language and History) which means that I have written more essays than I can count in the last two years. I have needed to get this process down-pat until it’s just rinsed and repeat. I can now churn out a 500-word essay in under an hour, and here’s exactly how I do it.

Step 1: Realize that you’re not J.K Rowling

You’re not J.K Rowling, so stop beating yourself up for it. Your first draft is going to be terrible. Like chocolate chips with ranch dressing terrible. But that’s okay -- the sooner you get over your terrible writing, the easier the rest of the essay will flow.

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so later I can build castles.” ─ Shannon Hale

The tendency toward perfectionism is the enemy of all progress. The biggest mistake I ever made was repeatedly re-reading everything I wrote, going back to edit, realizing I hated my writing, and then getting in the way of any progress I was making.

Put some virtual blinders on and write your little heart out. Who cares if the first draft is awful? No one is going to see it. Correcting an existing essay is MUCH easier than writing a perfect essay from the gecko.

If you find it hard to stop yourself from constantly rereading, try to scroll down the page until most of your essay is covered. Then don’t let yourself scroll up until you’ve surpassed 500 words (but make sure you’ve read step number two first).

“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” ─ Erica Jon

So go back to your screen, accept that the first draft is going to be DARN AWFUL, and challenge yourself to write that first sentence -- then another -- and another.

Step 2: Make Sure You Have a Plan

What’s the sense of writing 500 words arguing against a school dress code when you were supposed to be writing about the Revolutionary War? Okay -- that’s a bit of an extreme example, but the reasoning holds true. Before you start writing like a determined maniac, you need to also have an outline first -- otherwise, you could end up scrapping most or all of what you wrote in the first place.


I know -- it sounds simple -- but you’d be surprised how many people will mess up on this step.

To make sure you’re not one of them, highlight the keywords of the question and constantly refer to it and use the keywords to show the reader/examiner/your teacher that you are addressing the question. Having a clear idea of the question is SO important to remain organized as you do your research.

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

Changing and switching up wording after-the-fact is easy -- completely changing arguments, switching up paragraphs and essay flow is not. If you need to -- rewrite the question in your own words; write a brief outline of the direction you want your essay to go on, and then start researching!

Step 3: Take Notes Efficiently

A word of caution: we've all tried to “BS” an essay before -- writing fluff without really knowing the content. This doesn’t work in the long term. Trust me. You’ll just end up writing the same essay again, after you’ve actually done the research. Getting all your thoughts down on paper the first time is also MUCH EASIER when you actually have well-researched thoughts about that topic.

So make sure you know the content and collect your notes -- do whatever you need to prepare. This includes collecting your stationery and paper etc, so that before you know everything you want to write about.

Researching beforehand (unless you’re already an expert) is not a step you can skip, and you actually end up SAVING YOURSELF TIME in the long run. The researching phase does not need to be an extremely long process (depending on the essay) because it can be combined into the outlining phase.

For me personally, I keep a running doc of all my notes from different websites and resources and make sure to keep track of where I’ve found all my notes at the bottom of the doc. It’s ok to copy and paste notes for the sake of efficiency -- but make sure that you completely change the wording and cite correctly when including facts in your essay!

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

At some point along the way, I’ll figure out which side I’m arguing for, and then I’ll put my (non-perfect and non-final) thesis at the top of the doc. I’ll then separate the notes that support my argument from the notes that do not support my argument. The latter I’ll save for addressing, and disproving the counterargument.

Once you feel like you have A) gotten a rough idea of your thesis and B) have a good understanding of the evidence and background of your topic, you can move on to creating the organizable flow of your essay!

Step 4: Turn Your Notes Into an Outline (in 5 minutes)

This part can be done fast, contrary to what teachers often make you believe. What I do in this step is:

  • Group my notes into three(ish) sections for each body paragraph in a way that makes sense. There will be some outlying facts that won’t fit in a paragraph, but those can be good to be included in the introduction or conclusion, so keep them at the bottom of your google doc.
  • Facts you’ve researched that don’t quite fit with your argument should be kept in another section -- that will be for your counter-argument. Trust me -- you will get brownie points for addressing these points later in your essay.
  • For each section, decide what your overarching point is and how it relates back to your thesis. You may decide to tweak or change your thesis at this point.

Now you’re ready to put blinders on and write that essay like nobody’s business.

Step 5: Write Your Introduction and Get Your Essay Flowing

Don’t stress too much about the first sentence. A sentence to get you started is better than staring at a blank page -- you can always come back to craft your perfect hook. Just put something down on the page to start with, and then you can move on and get that essay flowing!

The second step of writing the introduction is figuring out what exactly you are trying to get across to the reader from your essay as a whole. What is your response to the essay prompt? This answer should be clearly spelled out to the reader in the introduction.

Essays are *not* the place for unwelcome surprises. That is what jump scares in horror movies are for.

If you are comparing two things such as books, arguments, factors, etc., use the Both However Whereas structure. Both A and B say this or talk about this, however, A says this about it, whereas, B says this about it. Then back this up by saying, this is a comment on C. C can be anything: 'the expectations of the time' 'gender roles' 'Truman's presidency'.

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

The point of this is to add context to your introduction straight away and show that you are basing your line of argument (what you want to say) on facts and knowledge.

Your thesis should be the last sentence of your introduction -- there are rarely exceptions to this. This is where you spell out your argument and introduce the main points that support your argument and will be backed by your body paragraphs.

Sample structure from one of my argumentative essays from 2015:

Color Code: __ Main argument that **answers the prompt** __ 3 points that support my main argument and will make up my body paragraphs Imperialism ultimately changed both the colonizer and the colonized by introducing Western Political Thought, creating nationalism, and testing morals.

Step 6: Write Your 3 Body Paragraphs

Now it’s time to go back to your notes. You’ve already (hopefully) determined what your three major points are and which notes/facts should support which points. Now it’s time to turn your notes into sentences.

Figure out what each topic sentence is going to be. A common mistake is to simply state a fact (I am guilty of this in many of my old essays). A good topic sentence makes a claim that can then be supported with additional facts and examples and clearly relates back to the thesis.

Topic Sentence Example: Imperialism caused the colonized and the colonizers to react in ways they normally would not.

This sentence does not simply state a fact -- instead, it introduces my third point referenced briefly in my thesis for my third body paragraph of “testing morals.” Your topic sentence does not need to be complicated, but it should connect to your overall argument and introduce the point of this individual paragraph.

Once your topic sentence is written, it's time to turn your notes into sentences to supporting the claim made in your topic sentence. The majority of your body paragraph should be backing up your paragraph’s point with evidence, facts and quotes. At the end of your paragraph, relate back to the question (don't forget your key-words) and make a judgment about this individual point in reference to your thesis.

Step 7: You're Finally Ready to Conclude!

Go out with a bang! Finish by making a decision, tell the reader what the answer is. Start with something other than the cliche 'to conclude' or ‘ultimately.’ Teachers are tired of hearing those words, and often, they can be left out.

Go with ‘ultimately’ however if you feel like your conclusion is incomplete without this transitional phrase. If you can, save a nice interesting fact to hit the reader with in the conclusion. This is your chance to essentially say 'so basically I was right and the previous paragraphs are the proof of it'.

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

Don't forget that every writer -- even JK Rowling -- needs to edit their first draft multiple times. This article is a guide for how to write 500 words in one hour, but you still need to go back to edit. A guide on doing exactly that will be published on The Teen Magazine next month, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter so that you're notified when it's written!

how to write a good essay in 1 hour

Rachel Smith

I'm an 18-year-old aspiring writer/poet in Upper Sixth in England. My interests range from sports to fashion but most of all literature. I have occasionally bright hair and an obnoxiously cheery personality.

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