A 7-step Guide to Writing a Compelling Academic Essay in an Hour

By  //  March 27, 2023

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Reminder Reads: “Essay Submission in 1 Hour!” This message appeared on my phone screen like a thunderclap; my eyes remained still, my brain froze, and anxiety crept in. An essay I just remembered is due for submission in an hour, which means I must get to it now. But how? 

Without thinking much, I went all in, and this is how I completed my academic essay in less than an hour. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should follow these steps that got me through a successful essay writing and submission within an hour.

Step 1: Don’t Panic

The first step is to take a deep breath and not panic. Panicking merely wastes time and impairs your capacity to think effectively. Instead, collect your thoughts and concentrate on the work at hand.

It is critical to realize that producing an excellent essay in a short period of time is not an impossible endeavor. Several individuals have been in similar situations and have produced high-quality work under duress. You may face this obstacle with confidence and emerge out the other side with a wonderful essay if you take a deep breath, organize your thoughts, and focus on the work at hand. Thus, don’t panic; instead, be cool and confident in your abilities.

Step 2: Stay Organized

Remember, you’re not writing a novel here – you’re writing an essay! So, don’t get lost in the weeds of research or deep thoughts about your subject. Being organized and efficient are the keys to producing a captivating essay in an hour. You don’t have time for pointless research or extended brainstorming sessions. Instead, begin by carefully reading the challenge and selecting the essential issues you must discuss in your essay.

Once you’ve determined the main areas to cover, it’s time to draught an outline. An outline will assist you in organizing your thoughts and ensuring that you cover all the important aspects. Again, do not worry about going into too much detail; simply jot down the essential concepts and the sequence in which you want to deliver them.

Your outline will function as a road map for your essay, keeping you on track and ensuring you do not overlook any crucial issues. It will also make your writing process smoother and speedier. Therefore, make an outline and watch as your essay takes shape before your eyes!


Step 3: Put Pen to Paper

Begin by brainstorming ideas and scribbling them down on paper. Do not hold back while you’re brainstorming! Don’t bother arranging them just yet; the purpose is to get everything down on paper. You may always restructure and enhance them afterward.

Write down any thought that comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous or off-topic it may appear. Sometimes the most unexpected ideas turn out to be the greatest. Remember, you’re working on a tight timeline, so don’t get too caught up in getting everything flawless.

It is preferable to have a few good ideas rather than wasting time attempting to come up with the ideal one. Once you’ve compiled a solid list of ideas, consider which ones correspond to the important themes you defined previously. You may begin arranging your thoughts and writing a clear, short essay that amazes your professor!

Step 4: Set a Timer and Start Writing 

It’s time to start writing once you’ve jotted down your ideas. Set a timer for 40-45 minutes and commit to writing continuously throughout that period. Don’t bother about grammar or spelling; simply write your thoughts down.

The secret to completing an essay in an hour is to maintain pace. Setting a timer and committing to writing nonstop will allow you to stay in the zone and generate outstanding work without being distracted or doubtful.

Remember that you can always go back and edit the essay, so don’t waste time perfecting each phrase as you write. Instead, try to write down your thoughts as fast and clearly as possible. You’ll be surprised how far you’ve come by the time the timer runs off!

Step 5: Structure the Essay

Remember to correctly format your essay as you write. Your beginning should capture the reader’s attention and provide a clear understanding of the topic of your essay. Each of your body paragraphs should address one primary issue and include supporting evidence. Lastly, your conclusion should summarize your primary arguments while leaving the reader with something to ponder.

One thing to remember while formatting your essay is to ensure it flows nicely. Use transition words and phrases to link your thoughts and make your writing more cohesive. This will aid your reader’s comprehension and engagement throughout your writing.

And remember, a compelling essay is not just about the content but also the style. Use varied sentence structures, avoid repetition, and try to incorporate some descriptive language to make your writing more vivid and interesting.

Step 6: Take a Break, Then Edit Your Essay

After your timer goes off, take a five-minute pause to stretch your legs and clear your mind. Finally, set another timer for 10-15 minutes and utilize that time to self-edit your essay because professional editing is out of the question in this case! Check for spelling and punctuation mistakes, and make sure your thoughts are conveyed clearly and concisely.

While revising your essay, consider the general flow and organization. Make sure each paragraph is logically connected to the next and that your thesis is presented cohesively and compellingly. Also, feel free to eliminate any unnecessary material or concepts. Remember that your essay should be clear, brief, and concise.

Step 7: Proofread Before Submission

This is the final step in ensuring your essay is error-free and ready for submission. Even the most talented writers may make mistakes. Therefore, it is critical to review your work thoroughly.

Try reading your essay aloud to yourself to identify any odd language or grammatical mistakes. Then, if feasible, have a friend or family member go over everything with you.

You may submit your essay with confidence once it has been polished and refined, knowing that you have done your best job in the short period you have available.

But how do you ensure your essay is not just done in time but also compelling and worthy of a good grade? Here are some tips:

  1. Use clear and concise language. Refrain from trying to sound overly intellectual by replacing every word with the first word you find in Thesaurus or using complex sentence structures. Instead, focus on getting your ideas across in a clear and understandable way.
  2. Use examples and evidence to support your arguments. Do not just make claims without backing them up. Use examples, statistics, and other evidence to support your arguments.
  3. Make sure your essay has a clear structure. Your essay should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. In addition, each paragraph should focus on one main point and provide supporting evidence.
  4. Use transitions to connect your ideas. Your essay should flow smoothly from one point to the next. Use transitions such as “however,” “moreover,” and “in addition” to connect your ideas and create a cohesive narrative.
  5. Finally, be confident in your writing. Don’t second-guess yourself or your ideas. Trust that you’ve done the best you can in the time you had, and submit your essay with confidence.

To summarize, writing a compelling academic essay in an hour is possible if you stay organized, efficient, and focused. Remember to read the prompt attentively, explore ideas, and correctly format and revise your essay. Utilize clear and succinct language, evidence to back up your claims, and transitions to link your thoughts. Most importantly, believe in your work and trust that you did your best in the time you had.