Write a Ten-Page Essay in Five Hours

If you are here after searching for a way to speed-write an essay, you don’t want me to go into the long google-friendly explanation about how my great-great grandfather imparted this wisdom to me as a tot. Which is good, because he didn’t. I just teach college and have done a lot of it myself. Here’s how you write a ten-page essay in five hours:

Step One:

Do the math. Actually, don’t. I did it for you. Ten pages is about 2,500 words. Stop panicking. You know you need an intro and conclusion, lets make those 200 word each. Great! Now you have 2,100 words left. That’s a lot less than 15 150 word paragraphs. Awesome! You can do that.

That pretty little “15” number sure is perfect if you have three main points. That’s five paragraphs per point. One of those is your intro. Four paragraphs to expand. You got this!

So, here’s your structure

Intro 200 words
Idea 1 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Idea 2 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Idea 3 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Expand 150 words
Conclusion 200 words

Step Two

Write one topic sentence for each of your three points. Great job! That’s a whole step! Don’t you dare touch that intro.

Step Three

Write one topic sentence for each of your expanding paragraphs. That’s another step! You’re about to conquer this.

Step Four

Set your timer! Set a timer on your phone or computer for twelve minutes. Hit *start.* Every ten minutes, expand one paragraph to 150 words. If you finish early, rest or scroll through the internet until the next set. Look at that! Three hours and some change in, and you’re almost done.

Step Five

Wrap it up. Write your intro and conclusion. Give yourself 20 minutes for each.

Step Six

EDIT. Edit like the wind. If brainstorming took you a while, you probably have an hour. “How to Edit Like the Wind” will likely be a future post. So, stay tuned until a magical little link emerges here. Or check out my favorite resources, Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor.

Step Seven

TURN IT IN. You wrote an entire paper in five hours. Your wrists are sore, and you are tired. Don’t stop now. Get that thing turned in before you fall asleep and forget.

Bonus Pro Tip!

Oh, it’s a research essay is it? Well. Okay. I hope you did your research or you at least read enough to know what’s going on. Great! Set all of that aside. In-text citations will slow you down. You don’t have time for that, but you still gotta do it.

Every time you say something that needs to be cited type (????) . Write until you are done. When you reach step six, Ctl+f or Command+f our secret code, (????) . Put those citations where they belong!

You should always maintain both human decency and speed. There is no need to sacrifice one for the other.

Now go to sleep!

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