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How do some people write essays the night/day before it's due? watch

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    I usually start reading for an essay about 3 weeks before it's due so I can get my head around the subject, take notes on relevant bits and then make a plan.

    However, I've been ill for ages, and now the deadline for my ancient history essay is next week. How do I get something half decent in without actually reading all the books/doing it as I go along?

    I know plenty of people who seem to either leave it to the night before or 2 or 3 days before, I just get so stressed.

    Please advise.
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    caffiene, and all nighter. a bit of alcohol helps calm the stress of it as well
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    I find that the quickest way to write an essay is to write about something first, then find sources to back it up and expand on it. Most of my essays were done this way last year and it seemed to work quite well. Obviously you need to know something about the subject before, but once you're got the basics just look up information about a particular part in the index of the book, or find something about it on Google Scholar.
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    Form an idea of what you want to say, then scan the books for quotes which back that idea up, rather than the more laborious task of reading all the relevant material and then forming ideas and a plan based on that.
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    sometimes we get lucky and the teacher extends the deadline. it's very convenient.
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    Yeah most of my essays it's like this:

    1. Read wikipedia for an overview.
    2.Get all relevant reading material from jstor, the library, freebooksdon'texist, google books etc
    3. Read all books, take notes
    4. Brainstorm
    5. Open word document and put brief notes about where each bit of information will go.
    6. All nigher to write it
    7. A morning spent referencing, bibliography, reading through, letting others read to check it flows etc

    It usually takes me 3 weeks And each essay is hell
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    I always done mine the night/2 days before the deadline. I could never get started because a lack of motivation, the closer it got to the deadline, the more i realised, "oh ****, i better get this work done, running out of time!" Pressure focusses the mind, that being said i never got less than a B so it worked for me.

    Edit: thanks for the neg hater! :awesome:
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    In a very tired manner.
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    I usually start reading for an essay about 3 weeks before it's due so I can get my head around the subject, take notes on relevant bits and then make a plan.

    However, I've been ill for ages, and now the deadline for my ancient history essay is next week. How do I get something half decent in without actually reading all the books/doing it as I go along?

    I know plenty of people who seem to either leave it to the night before or 2 or 3 days before, I just get so stressed.

    Please advise.
    I don't know who negged you - seems a bit harsh.
    I'd ask the inverse question - how do other people actually summon the motivation to study for something far away or write an essay with a long away deadline when there's so many other things to do (socialise, sports, chill etc)!
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    Well...i'm just about to start on a 2500 word essay due in by 4pm tomorrow. I've been putting it off as i hate the subject and now i've got to deal with it!

    It'll be fine!

    *spends next hour on Facebook*
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    I usually start reading for an essay about 3 weeks before it's due so I can get my head around the subject, take notes on relevant bits and then make a plan.

    However, I've been ill for ages, and now the deadline for my ancient history essay is next week. How do I get something half decent in without actually reading all the books/doing it as I go along?

    I know plenty of people who seem to either leave it to the night before or 2 or 3 days before, I just get so stressed.

    Please advise.
    We're used to it.
    We're Pros.
    We're lazy. But get it done.
    With a can of Relentless/Red Bull, you can achieve the impossible in a possible time. >_>
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    Just write. Doesn't matter if it's any good as long as it's basically on topic and hits the minimum word count.

    Throw in a misplaced quote or two to show you tried and put a load of books you didn't read in the bibliography.

    Stock up on sweets & other junk food beforehand. I personally advise against red bull because you have to keep drinking it or crash, and when you end up with too much in your system the words on your screen start to blur and you can't sit still long enough to type.

    Write it in 100-200 word chunks, taking a 2-3 min break between them. Any more than that and your brain starts worrying about quality, which you cannot allow or you'll cave to the despair about not doing it weeks ago and end up just giving up. Which is bad.

    Make sure to set as many alarms as possible for the next day if you have to submit it in person so you don't crash when you're done and miss the deadline.

    Good luck, essay warrior. You have our support.
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    (Original post by Philosoraptor)
    I don't know who negged you - seems a bit harsh.
    I'd ask the inverse question - how do other people actually summon the motivation to study for something far away or write an essay with a long away deadline when there's so many other things to do (socialise, sports, chill etc)!
    You missed out 'Procrastinate' from your list of 'other things to do'.
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    If all else fails see your doctor for a doctors note and ask for an extension.
    Personally, I don't even think about it until two days before.
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    I'm starting mine as we speak, to hand in on Friday.

    I make a brief plan of all the ideas/areas I need to discuss. Then I scan the books and other resources picking out quotes etc. that I need, and arguments from academics that back up my argument etc. I note the exact reference as I go a long.

    Then I write up a more detailed plan, including the exact structure. I write it out fully then by hand, read through it for mistakes, note areas that I need to go into detail, take out parts that are not required, make notes where I need to restructure my argument etc.

    Once that is done, I type it all up without paying too much attention to detail and print out the first draft. In print, I again go through it line by line to see any changes that need to be made.

    After these secondary changes are made, I do all the footnotes, referencing, bibliography etc. which is made quite easy by my approach as I have already written down page numbers as I went a long & where i found the info from.

    I hope to have got to this stage by Thursday evening at the very latest. I then wake up in the morning and with a fresh mind go through it one more time for any final changes that are required.

    I don't really have anybody else I can show it to though.

    I always do my courseworks like this, the most I have ever spent on one essay was 5-6 days that was because I started it very early due to two deadlines within a few days of each other. That particular essay turned out to be a lower % than most of my others, still a 2.1 though.
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    (Original post by MrStick)
    You missed out 'Procrastinate' from your list of 'other things to do'.
    Haha that's essentially what I mean - right now I should be doing a dissertation but I'm on TSR...fml
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    (Original post by History-Student)
    ...
    :rofl:

    Hahaha... I actually know some people who aren't far off from this method.
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    (Original post by Philosoraptor)
    Haha that's essentially what I mean - right now I should be doing a dissertation but I'm on TSR...fml
    Hahaha. =P
    Not good man. When is it due in?
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    Next week?
    Lawlz, I have two essays due in tomorrow, the first one is about 80% done ahahahaha
    (next term year I am finidng out essay deadlines ASAP and marking them on my calendar in BIG LETTERS so I don't keep forgetting!!)

    Get up early, do big chunks of work dotted with little "reward breaks" (I'm on one now ). You may have to skip a few lectures/seminars - it's up to you to decide which is most important (The lectures I'm missing can all be made up for later).

    Reading and research is what takes the most time. Actually writing the essay is relatively easy in comparison, because you already know what you're going to write.

    Sighhhhh then after tomorrow, I have yet another essay due in net week... WILL IT NEVER END??? :cry:
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    Some people find they work best when under pressure. If you're doing it the day before, you really do need to devote the entire evening to it. Some essays can be written with a certain degree of 'blagging it'... You can write about something based upon previous knowledge, or just give your own interpretation on something, as long as it's on topic. Throw in a few critics' views, a conclusion, keep going until you get reasonably close to the word count and Bob's your uncle. In my experience, though I wouldn't advise it, this tends to work alright with some English essays, as long as they're phrased well and ideas link onto each other.
    For a subject like History though, I agree when you say it's important to 'read around' the subject first if you're not already familiar with it. If you haven't got the chronology sorted in your mind, it's pretty difficult to analyse or create a coherent argument.
 
 
 

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