Tips to Craft a College Essay on Any Topic
Writing an essay is one of the most common assignments that students get. Check some tips and tricks on writing an essay fast on any topic.
How to Write an Essay on Any Topic Quickly
Essay writing has always been a staple of high school and college education. Students have to write essays in all kinds of disciplines and on all kinds of occasions. Not all topics are easy to write about; some seem to be specifically designed to mystify and baffle you. Sometimes you have to write an essay quickly, without preparation (for example, during an exam), and in such situations getting an assignment to, for example, describe your mother, can be really frustrating. How are you supposed to describe your mom? What kind of description is this supposed to be? Should you focus on the personality of your mother, her life story, or your relationship with her? It can be really difficult to determine such things on the spur of the moment. To deal with such an assignment, you need a strategy, a routine you always use when writing essays. “So I have to describe my mother. Alright, I shall follow the same route as always”. So what is this route? Let us take a closer look.
1. Make Sure You Understand the Topic or Prompt
The key to quick and efficient essay writing is in reading the assignment or prompt carefully. Are you sure you properly understand what is required of you? Reread the task several times and make sure you haven’t missed anything. If anything is unclear, clarify it with the teacher or professor.
2. Prepare the Thesis Statement
Formulate your take on the subject matter in one sentence. This is going to be the central idea of your essay, so make sure it is solid and well worded. Make sure you have facts, statistics, and logical conclusions to back it up before you commit to anything. Check if it is specific and narrow enough. Your thesis statement should cover a single point about the subject matter. If you find yourself rambling about multiple different things, it means that your thesis statement is too broad. Narrow it down.
3. List the Points in Support of Your Argument
Prepare a list of a few points to back up your arguments. Depending on the size of the essay and the amount of data you have, you can use a different number of points, but usually, it is safe to stick from 3 to 5 of them. Make sure they really do support your argument and have enough evidence to sound convincing.
4. List the Points against Your Argument
Now prepare a list of a few points contradicting your argument, as well as explanations of why they are wrong. It is a very important stage. Your argument should be, well, arguable. If you cannot think of any points against your thesis statement, it means that you state something self-evident, something that does not call for proof in the first place. In addition, listing the points against your argument shows that you have thought things through and have come to your conclusions after weighing all pros and contras.
Start writing following the outline you have prepared. It is not necessary to stick to it in everything, but it will help you remember to mention the right details in the right places. Unless you already have a very clear idea of how you want to start your essay, do not feel obliged to start writing with the introduction – you may find it necessary to rewrite it later to better fit the rest of the essay, so you may just as well start with the body paragraphs.
6. Check Connections and Internal Logic
After you have finished expressing your ideas, reread your essay to check if it follows consistent internal logic. Are individual points properly connected to each other? Are transitions between paragraphs smooth? Are there any gaps in your reasoning? Make sure you solve all these problems before you move on. You should not introduce any significant changes to your essay after this point.
7. Proofread the Essay
After you are reasonably sure you are not going to rewrite large portions of your essay, it is time to proofread. Think of the most common mistakes you usually make in your writing and make a list of them (or, better yet, have such a list prepared beforehand). Go through your essay, paying special attention to these types of mistakes. If you have enough time, go through it several times, paying attention to one type of mistake at a time. You may find it useful to proofread the essay backward, from the end to the beginning – this will help you take a step back and see individual words and sentences rather than the essay as a whole.
Following an established routine can be of enormous help when you are pressed for time and do not have time to think. As long as you have a standard algorithm for such situations, you can hope to produce reasonably good results even when dealing with utterly bizarre topics.