If you’re panicking over a deadline, take hope in this: it’s possible to write a five page essay in an hour. It’s not, obviously, going to be your best work, but it can be a very passable paper so long as you follow this guide.
Whatever the essay topic is, gather every bit of information you’ll need and have it on hand—right beside you is best. If there are digital sources, go ahead and open them, you can tab between them and the word processing document. Once you sit down to write, you don’t want to get up again and lose your focus, or spend too much time searching for something.
While you don’t have long to muse on a thesis statement keep in mind this one absolutely critical point: it must be something you can support with the materials you have on hand. Any thesis you come up with that is supportable with the sources you have handy is fine, given the time crunch.
Now, you may be thinking you don’t have time for this, but for the purposes of writing a five page essay in one hour, we’ll be suggesting a different manner of outline creation than usual. It will most definitely save you time.
Here’s an example of an introduction outline. Follow this template for each section. Research points and include them as you create it.
- Introduction: (3 paragraphs, 1 page)
- First paragraph: Introduce the topic
- Not your thesis mind you. While you might ordinarily introduce your thesis earlier, you’ll need to pad this paper as much as possible without adding too much fluff. To do so, introduce the general topic. Include useful information, but make sure you write a paragraph that covers about 1/3 of the first page.
- Second paragraph: Introduce your thesis
- Now, introduce your thesis. In the first sentence, state it. For the rest of the paragraph, refine and clarify it. Third paragraph: Introduce three supporting ideas.
As you’ve researched along the way and copied and pasted points, typed out quotes, and such in your outline, you can actually edit the outline itself by removing bullet points, adding clarification sentences, and polishing the entire thing. Proofread, and you’re done!
Use online research tools. Once you have your base paper, use Internet resources to your benefit. Find quotes and research papers from experts on sites such as Google Scholar or Digital Dissertations. Weaving in bits of information and block quotes can bolster your argument and fill out your paper even more.
Incorporate block quotes. As you scour the Internet for research on your topic, look out for beautiful quotes or bits of information. You can paraphrasing or weave them into your paper as a separate block quote. Paraphrasing and block quotes can easily and quickly increase the amount of writing in your paper, getting you closer to the word (or page) limit—and end of your panic!
Cite everything. Citations are an important part of any paper that legitimate your work. Cite every fact, quote or block quote you use in the paper. Cite several different works from the same person, which can further beef up your paper. Citations tactics not only can quickly enlarge your paper, but also minimizes the risk of plagiarism.
Use graphics and images. Find pictures and statistical graphics that support or are marginally relevant to your paper topic. Write a couple of separate paragraphs about each graphic or image you use in the paper. The image and your explanation of it can take up a considerable amount of space in the paper, making it easy to BS your way through the writing assignment.
Wield a thesaurus for impressive vocabulary. Make the thesaurus your best friend while you write. Search for longer synonyms for words and phrases that fluff out your paper even more. Using different words and phrases can be the difference in space of “the ways in which” for “how” and “reinforcing patriarchal seigneurial norms” instead of “men rule.” In addition, creative use of vocabulary may distract your professor from other issues with the paper.