How to Write an Essay to Meet a Tight Deadline

December 27, 2017 support
How to Write an Essay to Meet a Tight Deadline

Table of Contents

Meeting a Deadline when Writing a Paper

Writing a last-minute essay

Deadlines could be the students’ worst nightmare ever. The act of thinking about a deadline is in itself stressing and suffocating. It is the case of all students to be constrained by certain deadlines. But, as a matter of fact, not all of them are able to meet deadlines and work under pressure in an attempt to submit their assignments on time. Students who hand in their work late are countless; it has become a widespread phenomenon that even with nowadays’ technological innovations students are still struggling to overcome. Hence, being in such a situation, students are more likely to be anxious, nervous, and uneasy. The dilemma resides in whether they should submit a poor quality work on time or a high-quality work late.

Some students would still edit, proofread, and refine their assignments until they miss the deadline. Others would still feel unsatisfied with what they wrote; they fall in the trap of their low-self esteem that drags them to procrastination and overthinking about the writing task instead of taking action and starting it. This case is reminiscent of that type of student who refuses to go out with their friends because they ‘have to study’, yet they don’t. Sometimes, the students’ continuous thoughts impede them from handling their writing assignments. Such a mental chaos worsens the situation. It makes them question their ability to write and the likelihood of their success. When stress takes over a student’s mind, many questions tend to occur, such as:

Understanding the Topic

Meeting a tight deadline is neither simple nor simplistic of a task. But, it is not that impossible. It requires some skills on the part of the student to make it feasible in a timely manner. The key to writing an essay fast lies in the following rules of thumb. Understanding the topic of the essay is as important as the very act of writing. Indeed, reading the topic and its instructions with a scrutinizing eye is of utmost importance; it gives insight into how to structure the essay and how to flesh it out with the necessary arguments and examples. Some reflection on the topic is needed and it allows the student to zoom in on the main issue under study.

Mapping the Structure of the Essay

Another equally important rule is the segmentation of the topic into small arguments and the decision about how to build each small section, which argument should come first, and which order the arguments should follow, for example by order of importance or relevance. While still in the brainstorming step, the student has to prepare some supporting examples for each argument for illustrative reasons; examples have to draw on facts and opinion. Real life examples are always helpful when time prevents from doing further searching on the internet.

Simplicity is Power

Using simple language: simple grammatical structures and vocabulary helps you avoid long and complicated sentences and expressions that may turn out to be counterproductive and uninformative. Leaving the introduction and the conclusion till last could also be a clever tip that saves students much time.

Time Management is a Vital Skill

Apart from these content-related rules, there are other useful ones. Giving yourself breaks every 30 minutes is an effective trick to stimulate your mind and continue the writing with more concentration. A short break of 10 minutes boosts the student to come up with new instant ideas and to modify the writing accordingly. Using a computer to write is also a real time saver. Handwriting is not a must if you are allowed to type your essay on a computer. It is not advisable to keep referencing for last, as such it will take longer time spans. Hence, it has better be done hand in hand with writing.

The Drawbacks of Writing under the Wire

Writing a last-minute essay may seem a great achievement, on the surface. Yet, it may not be void of pitfalls and weaknesses. The student’s essay could give an insight into their persona at the time of writing.

Punctuation and Mechanics

Indeed, the lack of punctuation mirrors the hurry in which the essay was written and the student’s chaotic state of affairs. Writing whole paragraphs that contain no commas, colons, semicolons, nor periods is the outcome of writing at the last minute to meet a deadline. The failure to account for the punctuation component in an essay renders it meaningless. Additionally, the problem of mechanics could be present as a result of writing at a critical moment. Therefore, the essay could appear weak by not respecting certain linguistic norms related to the capitalization of proper nouns, the abbreviations of certain notions, and the spelling of certain symbols and numerals.


The problem of formatting could also emerge as a result of writing in the nick of time. The essay would end up aesthetically unappealing with a problem of cohesion, in the sense that some paragraphs would be too long, others too short. An essay written so quickly would seem incoherent, the student may appear to have lost the thread of the main argument by drifting too far when explaining other related details without providing logical connections between arguments and examples to form a whole intelligible and consistent body.


Redundancy and needless repetition constitute another flaw in writing just under the wire. Unconsciously, the student may fall in the trap of repeating the same argument and expressions in different terms and using the same connectors. Using the same terms would also make the essay redundant which would reflect a reluctance on the part of the student and question their motivation to write.

Pomodoro Technique

Meeting a deadline requires different tips. For example, scheduling some small writing sessions everyday. It is useful to undertake writing for at least 25 minutes every day following the Pomodoro Technique, in order to be able to meet a deadline. As such there will be enough time left for proofreading the essay and formatting it accordingly. Chunking the essay into small sections and annotating each of them on a schedule makes it easier to handle the assignment carefully and efficiently in a timely manner.

Overcoming Procrastination and Overthinking

In order to meet a deadline, the student has to stop overthinking about it and start working on how to respect it through hard and consistent work. The only way to meet the target date is to do something about it other than merely thinking about it. Start gradually through words and simple sentences, until you make up full and correct paragraphs. Procrastination prevents the students from getting down to the nitty-gritty. As a result, they would feel blocked and clueless. Therefore, it is advisable that they keep stress at bay through getting down to writing, and eventually, the progress would be noticeable.

Constant Work and Dedication

Moreover, respecting a deadline means dedication and devotion to the essay writing. It is true that life is so demanding; students have families, friends, and hobbies that they would like to relish, but for the sake of not missing the deadline of a writing task, they have to be hard-working enough to monitor and guide themselves in the process.

Scrutinizing Yet Fast Proofreading

Proofreading an essay can be done in a fast way if the student makes use of a computer to correct grammatically ill-formed sentences and expressions using easy and quick tools. In that, not much time would be needed to read the whole essay word by word to find out if there are any spelling mistakes. However, that’s not sufficient, because apart from the grammatical problems, the essay may contain some context-related anomalies, for example, words that do not fit in a specific context or for a certain argument. In this case, it is recommended that the student apply the skimming and scanning techniques; that is to say, a quick reading of the beginnings, the middle, and the ends of each paragraph has to be done in order to correct any mistakes detected.


To put it in a nutshell, meeting a tight deadline is such an exhausting task; it is not void of pressure, stress, procrastination, and anxiety. As a matter of fact, fast essay writing could not be really effective. It may warrant some shortcomings such as reliability and credibility. Through a fast-written essay, the student may fall in the trap of inappropriateness and inadequacy. Producing high-quality writing in a timely manner is priceless, but it is something that only gifted people can do thoroughly.

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