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A Procrastinator's Guide for Faster Essay Writing

Curb that damn writer's block caused by your endless procrastination.

By Karina ThyraPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

The first semester has recently wrapped up for me. One of the biggest challenges I faced this term was the buttload of essays that I had to write. I’m a distant learner. In other words, I attend an Open University where face-to-face instruction and socialization is next to none. Attending an Open University seemed like such a dream for people with hectic schedules and for introverts, that is of course until you realize that when you’re attending an OU, there is also a myriad of temptations that crave your attention. From TV series, movies, books that are completely unrelated to your course — and all these are because you have flexible study hours. One of the greatest gifts of Open uni are professors that post modules and journals which you have to read (answering on weekly discussion forums are completely up to you), and write term papers to be submitted any time within the semester. For those of us who are bonafide procrastinators, this setting would give us ample amount of time to do whatever we want, until we realize that the deadline is looming and we still don’t have one paper written. #Procrastination.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and how I managed to write a total of six essays (three for each subject which I totally didn’t focus on 'til the last minute) four weeks before the papers were due and still achieve good marks, thrilled me; but I know that my toxic study habits must stop. Procrastination shouldn’t be a habit, but throughout my doing just that this entire semester, I learned a few tricks to make next school year more fruitful and less stressful, especially when it comes to writing term papers.

1. Read your materials and watch supporting videos if you’re LAZY AF.

First and foremost, the general rule of thumb before writing anything for school is knowing where to start. You will have no idea how to start if you can’t read past the introduction of your given module and other required reading materials. Skimming through it will also give you a general idea how to start, and when you get too bored to read, look up supporting videos. Video is a highly visual medium which can help you absorb the information better than just reading b-o-r-i-n-g academic texts.

2. Ask questions.

What do you want to write about? Synthesizing is hard if you don’t know how to ask the proper questions, not just to yourself, but to people who are knowledgeable about the field you’re writing about.

3. Write anything that comes to mind.

When an idea strikes you, whether you’re in class or have almost fallen asleep, jot it down! Whether it’s a sentence fragment or a whole paragraph you thought about, just write it down. Don’t wait ‘til the next day to write it because the trickiest part is remembering exactly those words of wisdom that the voice in your head just told you.

4. Record your answers.

Sometimes, it's way easier to just answer a question verbally instead of writing it down, especially when you just can’t think of anything to write. Answering out loud forces you to say whatever it is that comes to your mind first. So, just record whatever question you want to answer just so you’d have a general idea of how you will structure your essay. Expand your thoughts when you transcribe, and take care of removing the "uhms" and other sentence fillers you’ve ever said. Et voila! You have a good paragraph.

5. Talk to people.

The best way to learn and understand something is to talk about it with someone else. So have a trusty friend to talk to when you’re in the midst of writing essays. They may not understand everything that you’re going to say, but the questions they will ask you could be the very questions you needed to answer.

Setting aside work until you get an idea will only lead to unnecessary stress and cramming for later, so with these tips that I have learned from doing exactly that, I know that I’d have a smoother sail in my future essay writing, and I hope you would too.

Cheers to less procrastination in the New Year!

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About the Creator

Karina Thyra

Fangirl of sorts.

Twitter: @ArianaGsparks

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    Karina ThyraWritten by Karina Thyra

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