Speed Vs Quality: How to Write a Strong Essay Managing Both

If you were to ask any student, how his or her studies are going, you’re going to likely get a response regarding the amount of stress that student is feeling. This is very common today as more educational programs are assigning a larger amount of school work than what was the norm just two decades ago. One of the more challenging assignments is the essay, which makes its way into just about every subject and demands a large range of skills from a student. One of the biggest difficulties a student faces when writing an essay is deciding whether to write quickly in order to meet the assignment’s word count requirement or to write more attentively to meet the critical content requirement. The simple answer is that both speed and quality are important and a student needs to learn how to manage both. Here’s how:

Develop a Plan and Schedule

The first step in managing both sides is to simply develop a detailed plan and a schedule for each necessary task. Start with your deadline and work backwards. Be sure to incorporate times for unexpected hurdles – broken printer, power outage, traffic, etc. – as well as rest times between your major drafts. Take an accurate account for how long it will take you to complete each task and stay on top of your schedule without falling behind at any point.

Conduct Ample Research Early

Take a look at your schedule! If you aren’t starting your research early then you haven’t developed a good plan. Start with background research from the internet. This should provide you with a pretty good starting point. Write down key concepts and terminology, and also write down any academic resources you can incorporate. Head to the library and speak with a reference librarian to get started in the right sections. Take accurate citation notes to save time and ensure you don’t have any errors.

Create an Outline and Thesis

Gather your research notes and create a detailed outline of your best ideas and discussion points. Craft a few thesis statements and think about the one you can best prove with the information you have available. Use all of this to create a detailed outline to guide your first, second and final drafts.

Start Writing Your First Draft

Stay on top of your plan and start writing that first draft. We can nearly express how important it is that you get started on this as soon after the research process. When you write your first draft be sure to do so in a quick and efficient manner. The goal of this activity is to get down as much of your original ideas down in paper as possible.

Revise the Content of Your Essay

Set your work aside for a few days before you come back to it for a thorough revision. This is the point in which you can begin to make corrections to your writing, but most importantly it’s a time to improve on your writing by re-thinking the way you it is structured. Don’t hold back from having to remove entire sentences or paragraphs if it makes for a more logical work.

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Proofread and Edit Your Work

The final step in the process is to completely proofread and edit your essay. This is something that many students don’t do with nearly as much effort and enthusiasm as writing the first and revised versions of their draft. Unfortunately, those same students submit inferior work that is often penalized by their instructors. Be sure you schedule enough time to do this critically. Any mistakes you can fix in these last stages can make a big difference between a mediocre paper and a great one.