How to write an essay in just 24 hours

Don’t panic


Your essay deadline is approaching and you have no idea what to write. You’re overwhelmed with anxiety and stress so you decide to binge-watch The Walking Dead to escape from your responsibilities instead. It feels good to finish the last season but the real apocalypse is now ahead of you: 24 hours before your essay is due.

There’s no need for fear though, everyone has the ability to finish their essay in one sitting (without plagiarising). Here’s how.

Plan your essay, even if it takes a crazy wall of clues.

Plan your essay, even if it takes a crazy wall of clues

Build up your guilt beforehand

Binge-watch whatever movies and TV shows you want. Or go on YouTube and click on a video and then another on the suggestion list, and repeat. Sunbathing outside LICA also does the trick. Either way, just do whatever you want, or do nothing, like how you normally procrastinate.

Keep your hands off your essay and continue with that chill vibe until it’s only (approximately) 22 hours away from the due date. As your level of anxiety rises, so will your level of motivation. You’ll then be dying to start your essay because you know you don’t have much time left.

Warning: This is a really risky move if you have no self-discipline because the situation can go out of hands. So, know thyself.

(Try to) think straight and be rational

Always, always make an essay plan before you start writing. Even if you don’t plan it with pen and paper, at least plan with your mind. Planning is essential; as Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Bear in mind that it’s not necessary to spend four hours on planning and drafting, unless you want to take the previous tip to a more extreme level.

Where should I start?

“Planning” does not merely imply “essay planning”. Every step you take, every decision you make is also a plan. It’s just like in Call of Duty, you’ll be shot if you make one wrong move. Therefore, think about your ideal place to write an essay in one sitting because you’ll need to stay there for 15+ hours.

Already tired at 1am

Prepare yourself for the stages of grief

When you first start writing, you will hide from the fact your deadline is in 10 hours and cling to the false reality that you still have plenty of time. You’ll switch between frustrations and hurtful self-questioning for numerous times, and then drown yourself in your own tears and reference books. If you’re weak-minded, your inner nihilist will try to tell you there’s no point to doing the essay.

At this point, you should thank the university for building single-use toilet rooms because you can cry and yell all you want in there. If you don’t want to waste time on channeling emotions in a toilet, bring your own snacks, tissues and blanket to the library. Eventually, you will embrace your inevitable fate and fight against what’s ahead.

It’s always comforting to know that you’re not fighting alone

‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone’

Use website-block applications to prevent yourself from indulging in any sort of distractions. Put your phone away as well. Try going to the library without a phone and blocking all social media website for 15 hours. The idea is to create a post-apocalyptic setting where your only mission is to finish an essay (instead of killing zombies).

When in doubt, filter it out.

When in doubt, filter it out

Forget about writing the essay in a natural order

Write the main paragraphs first, then the conclusion, and lastly the introduction. When you’re at a highly delirious and anxious state at 3am, you won’t be able to write a detailed and clear introduction so you’ll just get stuck if you try to do it first.

Instead, start from the main body and elaborate the arguments from your previous draft. Speed-type whatever ideas appear in your mind first. Then select the useful points and support whatever your have with relevant references.

Always equip yourself in times of war: extra caffeine and a blanket

Always equip yourself in times of war: extra caffeine and a blanket

Trust your hidden potential

If you still haven’t finished your essay two hours before the deadline, have faith in the potential of your subconscious. Humans tend to display an extreme, albeit abnormal strength in life and death situations. If late submission will get you an F in that course, you must do whatever it takes to finish that essay.

Ah zabenya mamabeatsebabah

Ah zabenya mamabeatsebabah

If it makes you feel better, I wrote this article just a few hours before the due date. Deadline-fighters, may the odds be ever in your favor.