How to Write a Last Minute Essay

If you are among the many students who put off writing an important essay right up until the last minute, you’re not alone. Procrastination is the number one detriment to student success. Luckily, you can write an effective essay in very little time using the tips below.


You have little time to get the essay from an idea on a paper to a fully typed document. Thus, not a single minute to spend updating your status or tweeting about how stressful the situation is. Hop off Facebook and turn off your cell. Time to dig in.

Pitch Your Idea to Yourself

Hopefully, you have a topic already. Now sell yourself on the essay and what’s included in it in order to form your introduction. Think of the main idea you want to convey in the essay, and then break that idea down into three to four good sentences that give the reader a prelude to what you’re writing about.

Come Up with a Thesis Statement

Thesis statement is arguably the most important element of your work. All the ideas will revolve around it. It has to answer to major questions. First – “What is this essay about?” and second “so what?”. Your thesis statement has to demonstrate your point and be debatable enough to devote the whole essay to it.

Prepare an Outline

Once you have the idea where your essay is going to go, set all the checkpoints your reader will have to pass. Point out the thesis statement, the most important arguments and a conclusion phrase. This way your mind won’t race and you’ll have a solid foundation of your work.

Look for the Sources Online

There’s no time to run to the library when you’re in a hurry, so online sources are the next best thing. Use your school’s library database if possible to find reputable reference literature such as journals and studies.

Template an Old Essay

If you have an essay that already has the proper line spacing, margins, and formatting, then use that document as a template for quick formatting and works cited page. Just make sure to fill in this form with brand new ideas of yours.

Start and Finish Strong

Pay special attention to the introduction and the conclusion. Even if what you write “in the middle” is less stellar, hooking the reader from the intro and giving them something to ponder in the conclusion is a good way to leave an overall good impression.

Create the Reference Page as You Go

If your essay requires a reference page or bibliography, add your sources as you go. This saves time when it comes to looking up information after you’ve already written the essay.

Use Wikipedia

While good old Wikipedia is not a trusted source itself, the footnotes there often provide great source material on your topic. Although you don’t have the time to double-check every fact you include into your work, just make sure you place the references where you originally intended. The good thing is that they may even turn out to be cited according to the style you need.


Turning work in hastily can lead to errors. Give everything a quick once over before you submit your work to catch any typing errors or poor grammar beforehand. What’s even better, you can ask a friend to take a look at it. Your concentration may be totally ruined after that mind-squeezing writing session.

Once your essay is turned in, consider rethinking your work habits. Giving yourself plenty of time to finish your work ensures that you get the maximum credit and best grades possible.