Art of Craftsmanship

Academic writing tips and guidelines

Budget your Time When Creating a School Essay

Essays take a lot of time and are usually worth a large percentage of your grade. It doesn’t make sense to rush through a school essay and then hand in a piece of low quality writing. Just like money, time needs to be budgeted. It means organizing yourself and setting aside specific time to write the essay.

What work goes into writing an essay?

Writing an essay is often made of several tasks that all bind together to create a successful essay. They are:

  • Choosing a topic that’s focused enough
  • Doing some research of the existing literature
  • Possibly gathering data
  • Making an outline
  • Writing a rough copy
  • Revisions and edits
  • Writing the final draft
  • Re-read and proofread

Of course, that’s a simplified version. But most essays do require most of the above steps in one form or another. You can use this list to budget your time. First of all figure out how much time there is between now and when the essay is due. Then divide your available time into segments to make sure each step gets the attention it needs to be done properly.

Here are some strategies you can use to budget your time:

Use a calendar to mark sections of time to work on your essay
  • Leave a few hours or a day leeway in case an emergency comes up and takes some of your writing time
  • Make essay writing your priority
  • Start as early as you can. If possible, right after the assignment is made

Your instructor will be able to tell you spent adequate time on your essay. On the other hand, it will also be obvious if you don’t. An essay is something you can’t just rush through. Remind yourself often how important this is to your academic success. It will help you stay motivated.

Students often slack off on their essay writing because they’ve lost motivation. If this seems to be happening to you, remind yourself why you’re taking this course, why you’re in your program. How important is the end result or in other words, envision your graduation. Think how excited you’ll be! Doing this will help you remain motivated to do the hard things, even essay writing.

If you’re having difficulty with any part of the essay writing, speak to your instructor. He or she should be able to give you some words of advice or help you out.