• Application Essays
  • The Journal

how to write an essay in a day or less

How to write an essay in a week (or less)

Katie October 17, 2022 goal setting , time management , writing tips

By Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.

how to write an essay in a week or less cover image

Let me be clear: Although this blog post teaches you how to write an essay in a week, I am not suggesting that you ever rush your writing. Good writing takes time, planning, deep thinking, and revision. While one week is enough time to write most high school and college essays, some advanced research papers require more time. Knowing the difference is important.

How to write an essay in a week or less

Below, I list the general steps for writing an essay in one week, from start to finish. Depending on your grade level, essay topic, and teacher’s requirements, you might need to adjust things here and there – but following the sequence below will get you to the finish line. 

If you’re in a pickle (I see you, procrastinators), then you can adjust the framework timeline to complete an essay in four days.

Day one: Plan and Outline

For this step, it’s important to gather all the materials you think you’ll need for the writing process. Get your articles, textbook, novel, or whatever you’ll need for researching and referencing as you write. 

1. Write and clarify your thesis.

Every essay has a thesis. A thesis is what you’re arguing. Here are three possible thesis scenarios:

  • Your teacher gives you a thesis
  • Your teacher gives you a prompt that can be turned (reworded) into a thesis 
  • You have to create your own thesis

Scenario 3 (you have to write your own thesis) requires more work because you have to come up with your own argument. Here are my best tips for writing a thesis statement .

Remember, a good thesis will have two parts. What you’re arguing, and then how or why.

2. Outline the essay.

I suggest you outline the essay on day one, right after coming up with your thesis. In some cases, you will create the second half of your thesis statement (the how or why) as you work through your outline and think more about the topic.

How to outline an essay:

  • In a Google Document, write your thesis at the top of the page. Leave this thesis statement here for the entire time you’re writing the essay. It’s your North Star. When you lose focus, come back to the thesis statement.
  • Determine the structure of your essay. (You may need to follow your teacher’s requirements.) Do you need to write five paragraphs? Four pages? Is it a compare and contrast essay? See the graphic below for various suggestions for structuring different types of essays.)
  • Outline each paragraph of your essay according to the structure you chose in step 2 above. The main bullet headings should be the topic sentence, and supporting details with evidence should be bullet points below that.

how to write an essay in a week with the proper structure

Day Two: Write

You’ll spend Day 2 writing your essay. Do not edit at this point! Editing is done on a separate day. You may start with your introduction paragraph, or you could start with one of your body paragraphs. I suggest you build momentum by starting at the point you feel most confident writing about. Again, that could be the middle of your essay. If you’re including quotations in your essay, you will need to thoroughly analyze them. Here’s my step-by-step on how to analyze quotes in an essay .

It’s important to take breaks when you write. A good work-to-rest ratio is 45 minutes to work, and 15 mins to take a break. If you build momentum and don’t want to break after 45 minutes, then keep going, but cap it off at 90 minutes. 

After 90 minutes, take a longer break. It’s also okay to split your writing sessions over the course of the day: plan one writing session in the morning or afternoon, and another one in the evening.

Day Three: Write

Day 3 looks similar to Day 2. Continue writing. As before, avoid editing your work while you are writing it. The more well-built your outline is (Day 1), the quicker the writing process will be.

Writing tip: If you’re incorporating quotations into your essay, be sure to integrate and analyze them well.

  • Properly integrated quotations don’t stand alone as sentences; rather, they are part of a larger sentence. 
  • Your analysis of quotations should be around three to seven sentences long. Dig deep and explain a) what the quote means, and b) why it matters to the point you’re making.

Days Four – Five: Write or Edit

How you spend Days 4 and 5 depends on how complex your essay is, and how tight your deadline is.

If you’re planning to write your essay in a week, then you can use Day 4 to continue writing, and Day 5 to edit (more on that below). If you’re planning to write your essay in less than a week, then you should spend most of Day 4 editing. 

Day Five-Six: Finish Writing; Edit

Depending on your deadline and essay complexity, you will begin the editing process on Day 4, 5 or 6. 

  • Here is my full tutorial with step-by-step instructions for editing your essays .
  • Here is my free Essay Editing Checklist (free pdf download) to help you know what to edit for.

Remember, editing your essay should be done on a different day than writing your essay. You need to break the two processes apart with time in between so that your brain has time to “flush the cache” and come back to your writing with fresh eyes. 

Day Six: Edit and Submit

Your essay is due on Day 7. It should be completed the day before, on Day 6. At this point, you’re simply ensuring you’ve used the proper format ( MLA, APA, etc .), your works cited page is adequate, and you’ve checked your rubric thoroughly. 

If your teacher allows, you can submit your essay on Day 6, before it’s due. 

Day Seven: Done

Submit the essay. Make sure your submission is complete (pdf uploaded, essay printed and handed, etc) before you consider yourself “done.”

Final notes about planning and writing essays

The tips in this article teach you how to write an essay in a week or less. But, it’s important to create your timeline by working backward from the day you’re assigned the essay. If your teacher assigns an essay on Monday, and it’s due on Friday, reverse engineer your days so that you complete the essay on Thursday night. Reverse engineering your time allows you to see exactly which days you need to complete which steps. In some cases, you might need to create your thesis, write your outline, and begin the writing process all on Day 1.

Subscribe to ReportCard Newsletter!

Get your FREE download of 25 School Habits and Hacks when you sign up for our monthly newsletter featuring awesome school tricks and tips

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Wait a moment and try again.

23 Essays: How To Write One Essay Every Week

This semester, I as a rhetoric and philosophy double major have to write 23 essays. As of now, I’ve done 13 with 10 to go. At this point I feel like it’s a key aspect of my personality, “Hi my name is Bridget and I’m writing 23 essays this semester” which seems more daunting than it really is.

I have an essay that gets assigned on Wednesdays due every Sunday, which I appreciate being a constant in my life. So that’s a minimum of one essay a week which honestly is doable. However, where the challenge comes is my other classes where I’m assigned longer essays less frequently. Last week I had to write 5 essays, but this week I only have to write two. The fluctuation is really the hardest part, but I now consider myself an expert on timing an essay and going about it productively.

First, you need to understand your timeline – writing a paper the day its due is not the nest idea. I have to admit it’s doable but you really shouldn’t fall into that habit (especially if you’re a humanities major). What’s best is to mark out when it’s due and then hold yourself to your schedule, which brings us to the next step, understanding how you write. Everyone has a different writing style. For me, I can write up to 5 pages in one sitting. For my roommate, she needs a few days to write it. Don’t force yourself to write if you absolutely can’t, that’s what produces a bad essay. What usually happens for me, is I sit down a few days before and I start writing until I’m done. But that doesn’t work for everyone. Most people prefer to write a little bit every day, which also works really well if you can hold yourself accountable.

As a college student, you should expect to write a few essays there’s really no way around it, but that’s ok! Here’s 4 easy steps as to how to write an essay:

  • Read the prompts as soon as you get them. The reason I say this is because if you haven’t done the reading or maybe need to do a bunch of research, you should get a head start on that so you don’t suffer later on. This will also help you keep an eye out for helpful information in class or just in general. Reading a text with a prompt in mind is the best way to learn useful information, rather than going back and wadi8ng through a text you’ve already read.
  • Set your own deadlines. This changes based on your writing style and preference, but planning to have it done ahead of time will never steer you wrong. I usually aim to write my essay at least 2 days before so I can go back and edit if I need to.  That being said, I like to do my writing all in one sitting, if you need more than one day plan on doing that. This organization and allocation of your time will keep you on track to write a good essay.
  • Don’t write your introduction first. Start off with the meat of your paper and then after you’ve established your position and arguments write an intro and a conclusion that fits what you’ve already said rather than trying to uphold your thesis statement that could very well change when going through the motions.
  • Finally, have someone else read your essay once you’re done. Give them the prompt and your essay and ask if your writing is cohesive and easy to follow. It doesn’t even matter if they have no idea what you’re writing about, they can catch anything from grammatical errors to sentences that just don’t make any sense. Then you’re ready to turn it in.

Writing essays are hard, I wouldn’t blame you if you hate it. That being said, I truly believe nothing is more important than being able to write well. It applies to every field of study, it is useful in everyday life, writing will always be something you need to do period.

I hope this helps someone, learning how to write a good essay is hard (heck, I’m still learning) but I think everyone is capable of it. The 4 steps I came up with are just the most basic of what you can do, I think they’ll set you up well enough, practice makes perfect and all of that. Good luck with the next essay you have to write, I’m off to write one of my own.

Author:  Bridget Bernet

Howdy! My name is Bridget, I am a junior here at UC Berkeley, double majoring in philosophy and rhetoric with a concentration in narrative and image. I love all forms of writing, which is why I decided to write for Bear Talk :) and I'm so excited to share my perspective on this amazing campus. From cheering on the sports teams to studying in Moses Hall, every moment here is a special one, and I plan on documenting it all. Go Bears!

Matthew M. Johnson

Matthew M. Johnson

Essay of the week.

Essay of the Week is built around the idea that for students to write better, deeper, and more lively essays, they need to have regular exposure to the essay form in its many shapes and styles. This is why each week, in the tradition of Kelly Gallahger’s Article of the Week , I share an Essay of the Week with my students that I post here.

The essays come from a wide range of places and the only criteria is that each must in some sort of way embody the classic Montaigne definition that an essay is an attempt to try on or test out an idea. Beyond that the use of ‘I’ and contractions are just fine, if not preferred, and having five paragraphs is an option, but it certainly is not the only one. I also try to pick essays that still impart some sort of knowledge about the world in the same way an Article of the Week does.

To learn more about my Essay of the Week, here is an in-depth post . And here are are my Essays of the week for 2023-2024

Nov. 27 – Dec. 1

As will happen, thing got hectic and I had a few weeks away from EotW, but this week it was back with “ Snowplow Parents Are Ruining Online Grading ” by Jessica Grose. You might want to think about parental response to the piece before sharing it (and maybe adapt as needed), but I had really great discussions with students about how they feel about online grade books that I think were enlightening for them and me.

Nov. 6 – Nov. 10

I often find myself with a great desire to talk about the perils of the age we live in (issues with technology use, media literacy, social divisions, etc.), but it’s hard to find the right essays or articles that don’t feel overly preachy or judgmental. This week’s EotW “ I’m a teen who used to spend hours a day scrolling. Here’s how I curbed my social media habit ” by Kate Romalewski does a wonderful job of striking the right balance and led to a really wonderful set of conversations in my classes. Plus, the students were excited to read something from someone their age!

Oct. 30 – Nov. 3

This week we are talking about writing tools for emphasis, so my EotW is a truncated (and made more student-friendly) version of “ How to Exclaim! ” by Florence Hazrat. The site that hosts it, The Millions , is also a really interesting new source for Essays of the Week–one I think you might be hearing about again!

Oct. 23 – Oct. 27

I’ve long enjoyed David Sims’ reviews for the Atlantic, but o ne of his recent ones about the children’s show Bluey caught my attention as a wonderful example of so much we talk about: theme, characterization, tone, etc. Plus, a lot of my students love Bluey , making it a high interest piece that is perfect as we start to move towards our first essay of the year.

Oct. 16 – Oct. 20

A theme this week is talking about how each of us has experiences that allow us certain perspectives on certain topics. And one of the keys to great essay writing is figuring out what topics we have something to say about. To help make the theme, we are reading one of my favorite essays of all time, “ The Catastrophe of Success ” by Tennessee Williams. In it, Williams outlines, in as clear of a fashion I have ever seen, why success is so toxic to so many–a fascinating topic, if I have ever seen one!

Oct. 9 – Oct. 13

This week’s EotW, “ Down with Efficiency ” by Parker Richards is a great example of a whimsical, fun, and still ultimately thought-provoking essay in the classic Montaigne sense. It was also a good reminder to this author to slow down and sometimes take the meandering path.

Sept. 25 – Sept. 29

We are moving into more argumentative territory, so I thought I would start with this recent one by Adam Grant about why he likes the timing changes to the SAT for next year. Like many Grant pieces, it is at once thoughtfully argued and thoughtfully written, with lots of interesting rhetorical moves.

Sept. 11 – Sept. 22

My updating of EotW has been less than ideal thanks to very large classes and a book manuscript deadline. The last two weeks, I double-dipped into the archives and used Ross Gay’s “ Tomato on Board ” and John Green’s “ You’ll Never Walk Alone ” as we discussed how the the best argumentative pieces often blend narrative and essay . If you are looking for something more centered around literary criticism, “ The Rise of Tech According to Sandra Bullock Movies ” caught my eye as an example of interesting, lively criticism (with lots of cited evidence). It is too long for an EotW and some content matter might not be isn’t appropriate for high schoolers, but I’m thinking about using some excerpts of it for a future EotW down the line!

Sept 5 – Sept 9

We started school last week, which means this week I’ll be setting up my Essay of the Week. The first essay of the week will actually be two essays, both interesting, thought-provoking, short and student-friendly takes on a topic that isn’t always the most student friendly but is very important to discuss with students: AI. Also, they are from two authors I love. Here are “ My Books Were Used to Train AI ” by Stephen King and “ Murdered By My Replica ” by Margaret Atwood.

Here are my EotW from 2022-2023:

May 22 – May 26

For my final essay of the week, I have students bring in their own–someone who attempts to say something somewhere who speaks to them. I tell them that if it were me, I’d bring in Brian Doyle’s One Long River of Song . Another teacher recommended it to me on Twitter, and I have been reading a few essays from each night over the last month. I got to the end last night, instantly had a sort of cathartic cry as I looked back at the book, and then slept better than I have in a long time. That is the kind of essay I encourage the students to bring in and that we have been sharing this week as we prepare for the end of the year.

May 15 – May 19

We are working on our final projects, which are all about drawing meaning from the books the students are reading. One of my favorite columnists for drawing interesting meaning is Wesley Morris. His whole body of work is worth examining, but I plan to share excerpts of his recent remembrance of Harry Belafonte –an American icon that all students should know about.

May 8 – May 12

This week we are unpacking what makes podcasts (and more broadly multimedia projects) work as preparation for our final multimedia project. Our texts this week are student podcasts from the NPR challenge that argue a variety of things. The main one we are focusing on is the HER podcast about Madam CJ Walker, but all of the finalist are wonderful. Here is a link to them.

April 24 – April 28

My final assignment of the year is a multimedia one where students seek meaning from a book circle book and a way to thoughtfully express it. With that in mind, I’m bringing as many student examples arguments and essays as I can into class right now. This week I am having them look at the winners of the New York Times Editorial Contest and find an argument that speaks to them.

April 17 – April 24

Today’s EotW continues the theme of youth. While not exactly a teen, Jason Reynolds is the official Youth Ambassador for the Library of Congress, and his “letters” in for everyone are wonderful examples of the variety of forms an essay can take. Today we will be doing Letter #3. For those who don’t have the book, here is a video version of it you can use and show.

April 10 – April 14

We are focusing a lot this semester on students using all of the writing lessons from this year to cultivate their own voices, so my goal with the majority of my EotWs is to find young people who can serve as mentors in this process. My first young author in this series is Dara McAnulty, a young naturalist from Northern Ireland who has been getting a lot of attention for his nature writing. His essay “ Nature Can Heal the Heart During the Bleakest of Times ” is a great example of his work and great example of a strong young voice in essay writing!

April 3 – April 7

Today’s EotW is a return to the I’m Really Into series on NPR. This week’s entry, An Ode to Playlists by Teresa Xie, is short, sweet, and brings together a lot of the topics we are discussing in our writing lessons. Plus, who doesn’t like a glance into someone else’s playlist? 🙂

March 27-March 31

Today’s EotW is one that I got from Jay Nickerson on Moving Writers . It is called “ The Greatest Nature Essay Ever” by Brian Doyle. What I love about it is that it is something different (which is important as attention begins to wane with the start of spring) and, to my mind, perfect for encouraging studnts to metacognitively thinking about what their styles and approaches are when they put pen to paper.

March 20-March 24

I had a different EotW in mind this week, but then I came across the article “ What Make Taylor Swift’s Concert Unbelievable ,” and I knew I had to run with it. What I love about it is that we have been talking a lot this quarter about the tools a writer can use for emphasis: word choice, punctuation, parallel structure, sentence lengths, etc. And this article brings all of those things together in a stunning way and covers topics that still have lasting interest for a great many students, like Taylor Swift and how concert tickets are sold and concerts are put on.

March 6-March 10

My freshman are wrapping up Animal Farm , so I wanted to show them an example of what literary analysis essays can look like out there in the non-school world, and Tea Obreht’s We’re Still Living in the World That Inspired Animal Farm—75 Years Later is such a wonderful example of how one can weave together literary analysis, personal story, research, and fresh insights into a beautiful and vibrant tapestry.

February 27-March 3

We are discussing advocacy this week, so my articles of the week are excerpts from a modern advocacy battle over the Okefenokee Swamp. I’m going to use excerpts of this glorious Janisse Ray one and this follow up from Margaret Renkl . Both (though particularly the Ray one) use vivid, gorgeous language usage to try and get readers caring about a place they’ve never been–and swamp for that matter–and both are quite effective!

February 13-February 17

As a part of our discussions about ChatGPT , we are talking this week about the linguistic traditions we come from and how our linguistic backgrounds and own personal ideolects, or ways of speaking are strengths that we need to lean into in our writing. This excerpt from Braiding Sweetgrass , a perennial classic that shows the power of essays, is perfect for making that point while also introducing a perspective on language I’ve never seen before.

February 6-February 10

My EotW this week is excerpts from an interview with the Teenager Who Is Leading the Smartphone Liberation Movement . We are working on multimedia projects, and many students are doing podcasts. This interview, while not exactly a podcast, is a great example of how to thoughtfully make a case verbally in an interview. Plus it is an interesting, thought-provoking piece from a contemporary about a topic that nearly all of them think about.

January 30-February 3

My EofW this week is a profile of Portland Trailblazer guard Damien Lillard . I chose this EofW because we are talking about character analysis this week, and the piece by Kurt Streeter is a wonderful, deep, well-supported argument about a person. I also have a lot of students who are into basketball in my class, so it also acts as a nod to them and a bridge between the work of class and the work of living in the real world.

January 23-27

We are starting the new semester with a multigenre essay, so to help students wrap their heads around what an essay can be like when the words are accompanied by something else, I plan to share with them two pieces on the role of props in cinema: “ Dancing with the Stairs ” and “ In Praise of Chairs .”

January 16-20

After a hiatus for break and finals, EotW is back. Today’s EotW takes the same approach as my EotW from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day from last year and shares one of Dr. King’s lesser known, but equally important and incredible speeches. This year’s is “ Our God Is Marching On ,” delivered in 1965 in Montgomery, Alabama. Outside of “A Letter from Birmingham Jail,” I find it to be one of Dr. King’s most striking speeches, one in which he explains the history of Jim Crow in a way that I think will connect with students and gives an impassioned argument against those calling for a return to normalcy after the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, saying, “The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice.”

December 12-19

I feel conflicted about today’s Essay of the Week “ ChatGPT is Dumber Than You Think ” by Ian Bogost. On the one hand, I think talking with students about OpenAI’s remarkable Chatbot is important, as it will likely change the world, and Bogost’s take is the sharpest I’ve seen yet. Bogost also engages in some cool argumentative moves that are worth digging into. On the other hand, I’m nervous about being the one to introduce students to a tool that could students could use to plagiarize in other classes. By the end of last week, I found about a quarter of my students already knew about ChatGPT. That will undoubtedly rise this week, and I think it is generally best to talk about such issues openly, as not discussing them doesn’t generally mean students won’t use ChatGPT; in fact, a thoughtful discussion and an acknowledgement that I know about it, might be the best firewall to its misuse in my classes. What I’ve settled on is this: I will be using this EofW, but I first discussing it with my administration and fellow English teachers before pulling the trigger.

December 5-December 9

The piece “ Father Time Is Chasing Down LeBron James ” is a perfect example of how essays can be written about nearly everything, including (in this case) a commercial and a subpar Los Angeles Lakers season. The writing is also really lively and crisp and uses a number of tools we’ve been talking about recently, ranging from dashes to purposeful fragments.

November 28-December 2

I’ve been looking for a good fast fashion EotW for some time now. This one by Rachel Greenley captures many of the tensions without coming across as overly preachy, and it has a nice personal side baked into it as well (which is something I’m striving to help my students with right now).

November 21 – November 23

It will need some trimming, but Clint Smith’s World Cup primer “ How to Cheer for America ” is about as good of a blend of narrative and essay writing as I’ve seen, and the writing makes it a mentor text that I suspect I will return to again and again over the years.

November 14 – November 18

I have been growing more and more interested in using multiple medias in essay writing. This week’s Essay of the Week “ Film Can Help Us Look Disability in the Eye ” is a perfect example of an essay where video is used alongside text, not as a gimmick, but as an essential part of the essay–helping the author to make the point in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with text alone.

October 31 – November 4

This week we dive into grammar and language in earnest, and just in time for the conversation is John McWhorter’s wonderful new essay “ What Ever Happened to ‘You’? “–a wonderful deep-dive into how and why language does or doesn’t change change. The piece itself is too long and dense for most classes, so I plan to pare it down to something more reasonable, but it is such a great piece for introducing students to the wider discussion of the lives that language and grammar live in the wider world beyond the school’s walls.

October 24-28

This week’s EotW, “ William Shatner experienced profound grief in space. It was the ‘overview effect,’ ” which is about William Shatner’s actual trip to space, doesn’t look like an essay at first or even second glance. But I think that underneath its journalistic veneer, it is actually very much an essay trying to make a case about coming together during a divided time. At the very least, it is a cool read that looks at space travel from a very different angle.

October 17-21

Just in time for an in-depth discussion of character analysis in my classes this week, “ The Ballad of Rubeus Hagrid ” celebrates Robbie Coltrane’s extraordinary career by looking at how he turned the character of Hagrid into something more than just comic relief that occasionally ventured in from the forest. I also like it is because it is short–about the same length as a 2-3 page essay–and yet it is deep and filled with great video evidence (yeah, multimedia texts!) and insights about a character I have always appreciated.

October 3-7

I like this week’s EOTW, “ I Make Video Games. I Won’t Let My Daughters Play Them ,” because it takes an important topic–video games–that often lends itself to hyperbole and approaches it what to me feels like a fair and even way. It also comes from the mouth of someone who has been in those rooms for decades, shining light on conversations we don’t often get to hear.

September 26-September 30

This week I wanted to share with you a padlet that was first shared with me this summer by Trevor Aleo of Learning That Transfers of video essays. Aleo’s collection is excellent and once again shows the range and vibrancy of what an essay can be. Trevor has also already put them into categories and color-coded them for age level, making this an even better resource!

September 19-September 23

We are in the heart of our narrative unit, so my two essays of the week are both narrative/essay hybrids to show that often the best way to attempt to make a point is to share a story. The first is from one of my favorite living writers, Ted Chiang. It is called “ The Great Silence ,” and it is a piece that Chiang wrote for the Arecibo Telescope museum that contrasts the beauty of that work with the loss of species diversity in the forests next to it. The second is “ You’ll Never Walk Alone ” from John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed , which blends his story with a larger point about the pandemic. As an added bonus, both are also multi-genre, which adds another layer of interest and instruction!

September 12-September 16

I had a very different EotW in mind for today, but then over tea I read “ How to Argue Well ” by Pamela Paul in the New York Times. It has so much that I love to introduce when I introduce what argumentation should be in the classroom, and says it all so well, that I couldn’t help but bump it to the front of the list. I hope you enjoy!

September 6-September 9

I have been thinking a lot about how this fall feels like a tipping point. On the one hand, I worry that if we don’t do something about them now, some of the worst parts of school over the last few years could solidify and become even more difficult to dislodge. At the same time, I feel that this year marks an opportunity for a fresh start–a fresh start that, given how much we’ve learned over the last two years, could actually be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move to something far better than our old normal. Regular readers will know that one of the biggest things that I am striving to reintroduce into my classes right now is joy , which is the topic of this week’s EofW “ How to Have Fun Again .” The essay also is a cool combination of a written essay and sketchnoting, which I’m hoping will also provide a nice quiet nudge for students to rethink what is possible with the essay.

August 29-September 2:

My first Essay of the Week is actually a larger series from NPR called “ I’m Really Into ” where people write short essays on something they are really into. We will be exploring these this week and writing our own short pieces on what we are really into. Students won’t know it is an essay of the week yet (I tend to introduce the concept during week 2), but when I do explain Essay of the Week, I will point back to these to help make the case that essays are all over the place if we are on the lookout for them.

And here are the EotW for 2021-2022:

May 31-June 3:

  • Apologies for the no EOTW last week, but the realities of the classroom hit and there wasn’t any time left for EOTW. This wasn’t a big deal, as the focus right now is for students to create their own EOTW–one last final essay that showcases everything they can do. My plan this week is to help them with that endeavor is to share with them all the essays of the week–from John Lewis’ “Together You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation” to “ ThE SoNgS THaT GeT Us tHrOuGh iT “–to give them models of style and substance that they already know. So often as educators we look towards the next new thing, but often the best practice is actually to do lots of revisiting old things as well to truly learn them too!

May 16-May 20:

  • Once I opened up the multigenre box, I’ve been seeing incredible multigenre essays everywhere. Two that caught my attention this week are Liziqi, a Chinese Youtuber a student introduced me to, whose gorgeous and quiet video about the life of a cucumber in her garden had me captivated last night, and the new cookbook I received, Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ . What I love about both is that they marry a subtle form of argumentation with beauty, both visual and taste, which makes them wonderful examples for my students of the range possibilities when it comes to multigenre essays like the ones they are working with.

May 9-May 13:

  • My classes are doing a multimedia projects right now, and so my EOTW come from one of my favorite multimedia genres: film vlogs. Specifically, I have two examples that I think do a wonderful job of taking a text (in this case a film) and making an argument about it, complete with lots of thoughtful evidence and careful analysis. The first is a piece from Lessons From the Screenplay that unpacks why Killmonger from Black Panther is such a great villain. The second is a piece from Every Frame a Painting explaining why Jackie Chan’s blend of action and comedy is so good.

May 2-May 6:

  • While researching for an article I’m writing, I stumbled across this treasure trove of letters that Sandra Cisneros wrote to her readers between 2009 to 2021. I’m just beginning to dig into them, but I have already figured out that they are mentor text gold, describing everything from her writing process to what makes for a great party. My classes are beginning an autobiographical multi-genre project this week, and some of these letters will definitely be offered as examples!

April 25-April 29:

  • This week our focus is on creating a short piece that showcases the most beautiful form of our own writing. To help inspire that I will be sharing the Brian Doyle piece “ Joyas Voladoras ,” which is stuffed with the devices and tools (ranging from appositives to purposeful fragments) we’ve been exploring. It is also just a really lovely read for a mid-spring morning!

April 18-April 22:

  • With the start of Ramadan a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking for a thoughtful essay to mark the occasion, given that I have a fair number of students fasting this year. Last night I finally found it with Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar’s “ On Fasting ” from The Paris Review. The essay is an interesting look at the role that fasting during Ramadan plays in Akbar’s otherwise largely secular life. True to Akbar’s style, it is also a beautiful mix of philosophy, poetry, and science that left me thinking about it for rest of the evening.

April 11-April 15:

  • The recent beautiful and interactive “ ThE SoNgS THaT GeT Us tHrOuGh iT ” insert from the New York Times has some of the most vibrant and interesting music reviews I’ve seen in some time. Further, it has some cool multi-genre elements for those who might be playing around with multiple genres at the end of the year and in need of a mentor text. For those with limited time, check out the Wesley Morris review of Bartees Strange or the Sam Anderson musings about “We Don’t Talk about Bruno.”

April 4-April 8:

  • I’ve been looking for the right article to discuss the war in Ukraine, and Thomas Friedman’s piece this week about what he calls World War Wired is just the right mix of backstory, evidence, and interesting argumentation. It is a great example of how the right essay can double-dip and engage in the knowledge-building that sat at the heart of the original article of the week while also showcasing interesting argumentation.

March 21-March 25:

  • My essay of the week is a short Ta-Nehisi Coates video essay called Dungeons and Dragons in High Culture and Hip Hop as Haiku . We have been talking over the last week about importnat tone and voice is in essay writing, and I think this piece is such a lovely example both. Also it is short and my students love it for whatever reason!

March 14-March 18:

  • It was 60 degrees on Sunday, which in Michigan means that we had officially crossed over into spring-time territory. With this in mind, my EOTW is “ Some Thoughts on the Common Toad ,” which is George Orwell’s argument that even (or especially) when the world is falling to pieces around us, we need to take time to savor the beauty of the changing seasons. The essay is a bit long and does veer into some topics that might be a bit much for my students, so I will show them an abridged version, but I have been sharing it for years, and it is a wonderful example of how stuffed with feeling, voice, and meaning an essay can be.

March 7-March 11:

  • At the semester I changed to a new school, which means that this week I am going to be teaching essays for the first time to a group of reluctant (but hopefully growing less so) freshmen. To help impress upon them the silly joy that can come with essays, I am planning to share with them two essays I found in my Twitter thread about essays from a few weeks back: “ Be Cool to the Pizza Dude ” and “ Stephen King’s Guide to Movie Snacks .” Both are as far away from what students classically view as essays as they could be, and both make a small point about decency and joy that I hope will strike a chord on a chilly Monday morning.

February 28-March 4:

  • This weeks EOTW is Thomas Friedman’s column from the day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started: “ We Have Never Been Here Before .” What I like about it is that it has a good blend of background history interwoven with an investigation of a really thoughtful point: We have not seen a conflict this size since the rise smartphones/Google maps/TikTok/etc., and our wired-ness will both impact the war itself and how those outside of the war will experience it. While it is a very good piece, it is also a long piece that drifts by the end, so I’m going to use excerpts, primarily from the first half of it when sharing it with students.

February 21-February 25:

  • Today’s EOTW “ Arthur Is Ending, But It’s Radical Optimism Will Live On ,” is a great example of close and thoughtful literary analysis in the real world. This has me thinking about how much fun it might be to someday assign an essay where students write a take about a favorite childhood show/book/movie.

February 14-February 18:

I was feeling low on EOTW inspiration, so I posed the following question to Twitter on Saturday:

writing an essay in a week

And the response was nearly a hundred comments from fellow teachers recommending incredible essay mentor texts. For today’s EOTW, I would start by checking out that thread , as it has about two years worth of tried and tested EOTW. My recommendation from it so far (as I haven’t had time to go through everything): “ Joyas Voladoras ” by Brian Doyle absolutely blew me away. I will definitely be sharing that with my students this week!

February 7-February 11:

  • In my Composition class, we began the new semester with narrative in the way that we always do. In this unit, one potential option the students have is to write a personal essay, which I define as a personal story that strives to make a point. Today, we are going to be picking what kind of story to write, and to help with this, we are looking at a bevy of examples of storytelling, including a few personal essays. A lot of the essays I’m sharing are old standbys that I’ve already shard here, but one is a forgotten favorite that I just unearthed: A 20 year old one written by Bill Simmons when Tom Brady and the Patriots first won the Super Bowl called “ Now I Can Die in Peace .” Seeing as it is Super Bowl week and Tom Brady just retired, it felt right, plus I have a lot of sporty students this semester, so this example is a nice nod to them. The original is pretty long, so I plan to share this abridged one .

January 31-February 1:

  • I found this EOTW on Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher’s Padlet of essays that go with their lovely new book 4 Essential Studies . It a student editorial from last year’s New York Times Student Editorial Contest ( this year’s contest also starts in a few weeks ) called “ Save the Snow Day: Save Teenage Education .” I’m choosing it for a simple reason: We have our first major snow storm of the season in 48 hours and our district will have to make the choice of going online versus Snow Day; thus, I have a feeling this will generate some conversation!

January 24-28:

  • The EOTW this week comes from a reader named Kate who sent me Amanda Gorman’s “ Why I Almost Didn’t Read My Poem at the Inauguration .” Gorman is likely familiar to most thanks to her stunning Inauguration poem “The Hill We Climb,” but this essay recounts how that moment almost never happened due to the fear Gorman had about becoming a public figure in this troubled and divided moment. It also unpacks why she ultimately decided to read it, thinking on the role that fear plays for both bad and good in our lives. For those looking to use this essay with students, the New York Times Learning Network shared a lesson plan just this morning for how you could do that too.

January 17-21:

  • This week’s EOTW is more of an idea than one essay, although there is one essay in particular that I will be using. The idea is that when it comes to Martin Luther King Jr., most students know “I Have a Dream” and maybe “Letter from Birmingham Jail” but have not read anything else. And while both of those are fantastic texts (“Letter from Birmingham Jail in particular is one of the finest mentor texts other written), I try to use MLK Day as an opportunity to look at other incredible speeches, essays, and books Dr. King wrote, especially because like all of us, his ideas evolved over his career. With this in mind, in previous years I have shared his “ Beyond Vietnam ” speech, which allows students to unpack how he changed and didn’t change by the late 1960s, and excerpts from his book Strength to Love , in which he talks about a wide range of different topics. This year though I will be sharing his final speech, “ I’ve Been to the Mountaintop .” Dr. King gave this speech in Memphis the day before he died, and it is famous for its haunting and prophetic ending. What has me wanting to revisit it this year though is a spot in the middle where he argues that the world at that moment was “troubled,” “sick,” “confused,” and “messed up,” and that is exactly what he would choose to live in that time over any other in human history. King argues that in hard times there exists an opportunity to grapple with tough questions that societies often don’t feel up for addressing in better times–an idea that feels worth reexamining in this troubled moment that we find ourselves in right now.

January 3-7:

  • This week’s EOTW is more of an EOTW resource where Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher put together a Padlet full of mentor text essays , sorted by the type of essay, in connection with the release of their new book 4 Essential Studies (more on this book in a bit). I hope you enjoy!

December 13-December 17:

  • This week’s EOTW is “A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray,” a George Orwell essay that became the catalyst for the new book I’m reading and very much enjoying, Orwell’s Roses . Reading the book reminded me of what a vibrant and lively essayist Orwell is, so I thought I would bring in the essay, both because it is a really interesting essay about how the plants we plant in our lifetimes can far outlive us and because it allows me to discuss how the book takes one of the “plants” that Orwell left us (in this case his essay) and uses its seeds to grow something new (in this case the book of Rebecca Solnit’s thoughts). I’m hoping the students will see the connection between the plant metaphor and the essay writing they are doing, and even if they don’t, it is a pretty great essay on a timely theme. Also, I wasn’t able to find a good, legal pdf of it (sorry), but “A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray” is in a lot of essay compilations. Apologies if you can’t find it!

December 6-December 10:

  • Apparently Jane Coaston is speaking to me right now because my EOTW this week is “ Can a Michigan Football Game Make Me Happy Forever? ” There is a certain irony to this because while I was once a diehard football fan (and for Michigan no less), I almost never watch games it anymore. Even still, given my hometown team and alma mater’s recent success (they are going to the National Championship Playoffs), I figure this EOTW will speak to a lot of kids, but what I love about it is that the topic underneath–an investigation into what happiness is and what that means for how we live our life–is really artfully discussed and will hopefully speak to those who both do and don’t care for Big Blue or football. Plus, I don’t know about you all, but I am in need of a little talking about happiness!

November 29-December 3:

  • This week’s EOTW is “ Help! I’m Stuck in a Knowledge Bubble and I Need to Get Out! ” by Jane Coaston of the New York Times. What I like best about it is the concept. The first half is a thoughtful and important, but not entirely new, argument about the danger of the bubbles that so many of us live in. Then Coaston does a novel thing though; she spends the second half of the article actually doing the thing that she was arguing for by reaching outside of her bubble to interview college football radio host (and southern icon) Paul Finebaum. The result is an essay that breathes new life into an important topic and one that shows the range of opportunities available for how we use evidence in argumentative writing.

November 15-November 19:

  • One of my favorite places for EOTW is The Ringer, which regularly has really great essays on topics like sports and pop culture that can get kids talking for hours. Today’s piece, Red Notice’ Is Yet Another Poor Attempt at a Netflix Movie Franchise , is about the new Netflix movie Red Notice and the limits of using algorithms to write and cast movies. What I like about it for this week though is that it is a great example of evidence-driven analysis to help prove an argument, something we are fully embarking upon with my freshman this week. Plus, my guess is that many, despite the middling reviews, have seen it and have some thoughts!

November 8-November 12:

  • We are starting a new essay unit this week, so to introduce how one can add emotion to essays, I am going to share some excerpts from one of my favorite modern essay collections, Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights . In The Book of Delights , Gay shares a series of daily essays on the concept of delight, and, given his background as a poet, the result is just right for helping to show how one can use emotion to make essays on anything better. I don’t have a digital copy of the book I can share, but here is a video of Gay reading a few excerpts, including one I am using today, “Tomato on Board.”

November 1-November 5:

  • We are on Fall Break for the first part of the week, so there is no official EotW this week. If I had to choose an essay to capture the feel of the first part of the week for my students, I might choose the classic essay “ On Laziness ” by Christopher Morley though :).

October 25-October 29:

  • This week’s EotW is a column called “ Nobody Trusts Anybody Now, and We’re All Very Tired .” In it, New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie writes an essay about one of his favorite horror films, the cult 1982 classic The Thing by John Carpenter. Besides the Halloween tie-in, this essay is such a perfect example of how one can use literary analysis of something from decades earlier to make a bigger and much more important point about the current moment.

October 18-October 22:

  • This week’s essay, Farhad Manjoo’s “ The Moral Panic Engulfing Instagram, ” offers a contrasting perspective to last week’s essay on TikTok. I like the two essay in concert because they can act as a model for productive and civil debate, and Manjoo’s essay is particularly striking in that his central thesis is in many ways “I don’t know,” which is a novel and powerful conceit for a columnist! 

October 11-October 15:

  • This week’s EotW is “ 1 Billion TikTok Users Understand What Congress Doesn’t .” What drew my eye to this one is that we are talking about the importance of choosing the right evidence when one is arguing, and that is something that this piece does impressively well. Also, it feels like a good piece for introducing a discussion about social media and TikTok in a way that doesn’t feel like another lecture from another adult on the subject.

October 4-October 8:

  • We start our study of grammar this week, so my EotW is an old standby that has helped me introduce my grammar unit for years. It is a 2012 op-ed by linguists Geneva Smitherman and H. Sam Alim called “ Obama’s English ” that introduces the idea of code-meshing (see here for a review of Other People’s English , which outlines what code-meshing is, if you want to learn more) and argues that Obama (and Bush and Clinton) became president in part because of their ability to mesh different dialects from their pasts and linguistic markers in a way that spoke to more people. It is also a wonderful mentor text for how one can take a topic (linguistics) that some could view as boring and make it lively through one’s approach, examples, and structure.

September 27-October 1:

  • This week’s EotW, “ Da Art of Storytelling’ (A Prequel) ” by Kiese Laymon, is one I have taught for a few years, and it is always a hit with my students. I don’t read the entire thing with students because it is really long, but it is such a great example of how narrative and essay writing can blend together, which makes it a great piece for nudging students to put more of their voice into their essays or more argument into their narratives. For those looking for an alternative, a reader sent an essay called “ The Fictional Complexities of Omar ,” which looks at Michael K. Williams iconic character from The Wire. I could only read a little bit (paywall for the WaPo), but from what I could read, it looks like a great example of literary analysis in the wild.

September 20-september 24:

  • Go for a Walk by Arthur C. Brooks: I’ve really enjoyed Arthur C. Brook’s columns on “ How to Build a Life ” for the Atlantic throughout the pandemic, but his piece this week about how walking can ameliorate many modern/pandemic issues is not only great advice, it is a great essay–combining really thoughtful blending of sources and genres to make an argument that is deeper and more compelling than the other articles I’ve seen about the positive effects of walking. I plan to focus at least some of our discussion on how artfully he uses and converses with his sources.

September 13-september 17:

  • The Summer After 9/11, A Photographer Documents A City’s Healing by Lucas Foglia and Michele Abercrombie: I’ve been thinking about how to talk about the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a room full of children who weren’t even alive when the towers fell. This multi-genre piece of photos mixed with a personal essay and an appeal for empathy in this current moment seems like a great place to start, especially because it also serves as a mentor text for what a multi-genre essay can look like before some of my students do the multi-genre Coming of Age contest for the New York Times.

September 7-september 10:

  • Gordon Lewis’ “ The Man Box “: This week we will be starting our first unit on storytelling. This winning essay from the New York Times Narrative Contest (which will be an option for students to do in this unit) is a wonderful example of how the line between narrative and essay can be thin and fuzzy and how a story or essay can benefit when that line gets blurred. Further, it is a student (and a former student from my school), which helps my students to see that they can do this too.

August 30-September 2:

  • John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed : John Green is best known for his novels (followed closely by his Crash Courses), but his new collection of essays (the link is to the podcast version; there is also a book ) are compelling, entertaining, timely in their topics, at times heart-wrenching, and generally awesome examples of essay writing. They are also John Green, which means there is a high likelihood they will be a hit with my students.

August 22-26:

  • Malala Yousafzai’s “I Survived the Taliban. I Fear for My Afghan Sisters”
  • John Lewis’ “Together You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation”

Share this:

Blog at

' src=

  • Already have a account? Log in now.
  • Follow Following
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar

Essay Writing Like a Pro-Write a Multi-Paragraph Essay Each Week!


Class Experience

Us grade 4 - 7, available times, .css-10cvqiu{-webkit-user-select:none;-moz-user-select:none;-ms-user-select:none;user-select:none;width:1em;height:1em;display:inline-block;fill:currentcolor;-webkit-flex-shrink:0;-ms-flex-negative:0;flex-shrink:0;-webkit-transition:fill 200ms cubic-bezier(0.4, 0, 0.2, 1) 0ms;transition:fill 200ms cubic-bezier(0.4, 0, 0.2, 1) 0ms;font-size:inherit;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.5em;} this class is in high demand, meet the teacher, group class, financial assistance  , outschool international  , get the app  .

Get it on Google Play

More to Explore  

Classes by age  , classes by grade  .

How to write a whole research paper in a week

writing an essay in a week

Writing up a full research article in a single week? Maybe you think that’s impossible. Yet I have done it repeatedly, and so have students in my courses. This is an exceptionally joyful (even if demanding) experience: being so productive just feels great! You are not wasting any time, and a paper produced in one go is typically coherent and nice to read. Even if you are a slow writer, you can write a whole paper in a single week — if you follow my strategy. Read below about what you need to prepare and how to approach this project.

I wrote my first scientific research article in 7 days. It started as a desperate effort to stop my procrastination and “just do it”. But I was surprised what a positive experience it was: focused and efficient, I was making daily progress, feeling motivated and content. Finally, the fruits of my hard work were gaining shape — and they did it so quickly!

I realized it was highly effective to write up a paper like this: writing for the whole day, every day until the first draft was finished. My writing project was firmly present in my mind — I didn’t lose time catching up with what I have written in the last session. Since I was not doing anything else, my wandering mind settled in very fast, and I was getting into a routine. The daily progress was clearly visible and motivated me to continue. And the result was a coherent paper that was easy to revise.

Meanwhile, this paper-a-week approach is my favorite. That’s how I write my papers, and that’s what I teach to students. In on-site courses young scientists draft a whole paper in 5 days, writing one major section per day. At the beginning of the week, many participants have doubts. But at the end of the week, they are all excited to see how much they managed to write in just a single week.

If you would also like to try out this approach, then read on about the necessary preparations, the optimal setting, and a productive writing strategy.

If you would like to get support during the preparation, drafting and revising of your research article, check out my online course Write Up Your Paper .

Prepare well

writing an essay in a week

  • First, think about your audience and pick a suitable journal . This is an important step because the audience and journal determine the content & style of your paper. As a reference, pick two recent papers on a similar topic published in your target journal.
  • Create a storyline for your paper. What is the main message you want to convey, and how are you going to present your results?
  • Put together all the results that you need to present your story convincingly: collect the necessary data, finish analyses, and create figures and tables.
  • Select and read the relevant background literature as well as studies you want to compare your work with. As you read, note down any point that comes to your mind as something to be mentioned in the Introduction or Discussion section.
  • Draft a preliminary Abstract : it will help you keep the direction and not get distracted by secondary ideas as you write the individual sections.

Depending on how complete your results already are, you might need 2-4 weeks to finish all these preparations. To help you keep an overview, I created a checklist with detailed steps that you need to take before you attempt to write up your paper in a week. Subscribe to our Newsletter and get your copy of the checklist.

Reserve a whole week for writing

Now, writing a paper in a single week is a serious business. You can’t do it if you don’t focus solely on the writing and create good writing conditions. Therefore, I recommend the following settings:

  • Find a place where you can write without distractions. I have written my first paper over the Easter holidays when there was nobody in the office. You might choose to write at home or in a library. Though if possible, the best is to go for a retreat: removing yourself from your everyday settings immensely helps focus on the writing.
  • Cancel (all) social obligations for the week. While it’s crucial to relax in the evening, you want to avoid disturbances associated with social events. Anything that makes your thoughts drift away from your work because it requires planning, exchanging of messages with others, or simply because it’s too exciting is better left for some other week. On the other hand, a quiet meeting with a good friend over a glass of wine or beer might be just the perfect way to unwind and rest after a productive, yet exhausting day of writing.
  • Get support from the partner, family or friends — if possible. It’s best when you don’t need to run errands, cook and clean during this week. If you live alone, you can probably easily arrange yourself for undisturbed work. If you live with other people, ask them for consideration and support.

What I described above are the *ideal* conditions for undisturbed writing. But don’t give up if you can’t create such conditions for yourself. Work with what is possible — maybe it will take you 7-8 instead of 5-6 days but that’s still a great result, right?

Do you need to revise & polish your manuscript or thesis but don’t know where to begin?

Get your Revision Checklist

Click here for an efficient step-by-step revision of your scientific texts.

Maybe you think that you can never ever draft a research article in a single week. Because you write so slowly, producing only few paragraphs per day. Well — I agree that if you don’t optimize your writing strategy, it would be hard to impossible to write up a whole paper in a week.

writing an essay in a week

  • Separate the processes of writing and revising. That’s the most important principle. Resist the urge to revise as you write the first draft. Moreover, don’t interrupt your writing to look up missing information. Work with placeholders instead. This allows you to get into the state of flow and proceed much faster than you can imagine.
  • Start your writing day with 10 minutes of freewriting . Write without stopping about anything that comes to your mind. This helps you to warm up for writing, clear your head of any unrelated thoughts, and get into the mood of writing without editing.
  • Take regular power breaks. I recommend to follow the Pomodoro technique : write for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. After 3-4 such sessions take a longer break of 0.5-1 hour. During the breaks get up, walk a bit, stretch, look around, and breathe deeply. These breaks help you sustain high focus and productivity throughout the whole day.
  • Eat and sleep well. What you are doing is similar to a professional athlete. So take care of your brain and body, and they will serve you well.
  • Reward yourself. Every day celebrate the progress you have made. You have full right to be proud of you!

Write the individual sections in a reasonable order

If you have written a research paper before, you have probably realized that starting with the Introduction and finishing with the Discussion is not the ideal order in which to tackle the individual sections. Instead, I recommend the following procedure:

writing an essay in a week

  • Start with the Methods section. This is the easiest section to write, so it’s great as a warm-up, to get into writing without the need to think (and procrastinate ;)) too much. Look at your figures and tables: what methods did you use to create them? Then describe your methods, one after another.
  • Results section: Writing the Methods section refreshes your memory about the research you have done. So writing the Results section next should not be too hard: Take one display object (figure or table) after another, and describe the results they contain. While you do so, you will come across points that need to be discussed in the Discussion section. Note them down so you don’t forget them.
  • Introduction : When your results are fresh in your mind, you are in a great position to write the Introduction — because the Introduction should contain selected information that gives the reader context for your research project and allows them to understand your results and their implications.
  • Discussion : When you have taken notes while writing the Results section, the Discussion section should be quite easy to draft. Don’t worry too early about the order in which you want to discuss the individual points. Write one paragraph for each point , and then see how you can logically arrange them.
  • Abstract and title : On the last day, revise the preliminary Abstract or write a new one. You could also take a break of a few days before tackling the Abstract, to gain clarity and distance. Generate multiple titles (I recommend 6-10), so that you and your co-authors can choose the most appropriate one.

Just do it!

writing an essay in a week

Once you have written the whole draft, let it sit for a week or two, and then revise it. Follow my tips for efficient revising and get your revision checklist that will guide you step-by-step through the whole process.

Now I am curious about your experience: Have you ever written up an academic article quickly? How did you do it? Please, share with us your tips & strategies!

Do you need to revise & polish your manuscript or thesis but don’t know where to begin? Is your text a mess and you don't know how to improve it?

Click here for an efficient step-by-step revision of your scientific texts. You will be guided through each step with concrete tips for execution.

7 thoughts on “ How to write a whole research paper in a week ”

Thank for your guide and suggestion. It gives to me very precious ways how to write a article. Now I am writing a article related to Buddhist studies. Thank you so much.

You are welcome!

excellent! it helped me a lot! wish you all best

Hi Parham, I’m happy to hear that!

I have never written any paper before. As I am from very old school.

But my writing skill is actually very good. Your help is definitely going to help me as this has inspired me alot. Will let you know, once done. I really like the outline that you have given. Basically you have made it so easy for me .

Hope fully will be in touch with you soon.

Thanks and ki d Regards, Shehla

Dear Shehla, that sounds great! I’m looking forward to hearing about your paper!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies, um Ihnen ein besseres Nutzererlebnis zu bieten. Wenn Sie die Seite weiternutzen, stimmen Sie der Cookie-Nutzung zu.

write an academic essay in a week

Leaving your academic essays for the last minute is never a good idea. Regardless of the fact, many students tend to leave the majority of their work to do the week or a few days before they are due. This puts a huge amount of stress and pressure on students to perform and can have a negative affect on their grades. The good news is that it’s possible to write an academic essay in a week, it does help if you are somewhat prepared with research and notes though. So you have seven days to get your academic writing completed. Don’t wait another moment longer.

Day 7 & 6  – Get yourself organized. Find all your notes that you’ve made related to your topic. Locate any books that you have used or will want to use. Get reading. Skim read chapter summaries and introductions to get an idea as to whether something is useful in there for you. Take more notes. Prepare all this information so that it can be used to write your academic essay. Start your outline, what is it that you want your academic essay to say? You’ve only got seven days so you need to do as much as possible in a short space of time.

Day 5 & 4 – Start writing. Follow your outline and write up a draft of your academic essay. Remember to use references and multiple resources. Most professors require a large number of resources to be used and referenced, so make sure that you have read widely. Once you’ve done a rough draft of your academic essay, check it to see whether it needs more research or information.

Day 3 – Time to work on your first draft. Remember to never give in your first draft. You need to work on it to make it the best it can be, and that’s not even possible for the best writers out there. Read through the information that you have. Add extra bits and pieces that will make your academic essay stronger. Put them in the essay and see how it all reads and looks like on paper. If you need to do any extra research, do it now.

Day 2 – Edit your academic essay. Make sure that you have answered the question correctly. That you have used the correct reference style required by your professor or university. Check your academic essay for grammar, vocabulary and punctuation. Does it make coherent sense? Does it follow the guidelines?

Day 1 – Last day to hand in your academic essay. You’ve done it. You’ve written the essay in one week. Pat yourself on the back. Give it one last read through to check for any mistakes that may have been overlooked. Your academic essay should be well written and ready to hand in.

Katarzyna Radzka

Add a comment

Principals diary.

  • Academic resources
  • Accreditation
  • Administration
  • Adolescence & Life Skills
  • Advertisements
  • Behavioural Problems
  • Book Reviews
  • CBSE Sample Papers
  • Classroom Management
  • Education and technology
  • Educational Institutes
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Examinations
  • Forms and Reports
  • Guide and Manuals
  • Inclusive Education
  • Intelligence
  • Job Description
  • Kindergarten
  • Learning barriers
  • Legal-Letters
  • Legislations and Policies
  • Mathematics
  • Photographs
  • Power point Presentations
  • Primary Class
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • Report Card
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Scholarships
  • School Accreditation
  • School Activities
  • School Management Software
  • School Prospectus
  • Special educational needs
  • teaching and learning
  • Uncategorized
  • Website Links
  • Academic websites
  • Artham Resource Material Join Telegram Group/Channels
  • Banner Advertising
  • Book Writing
  • Branding / launch your product
  • Download Sample Papers
  • Educators Training – Diploma
  • Email Marketing
  • Error Page (404)
  • How to get the best from the Online Journal ?
  • Membership Signup
  • Motivate your Students for research
  • Post Mailers to Schools
  • Print Media
  • Printed Journal
  • School of Educators
  • School Suppliers
  • SOE Global Education Awards
  • Strategic Alliance
  • Strategic Alliance Agreement
  • Strategic Alliance Form
  • The Benefits of Branding
  • User Profile
  • Vishal Jain
  • What do you say..

Sign in to your account

The Study Blog

Connecting you with information, support and your community

Last Minute Essay Writing

writing an essay in a week

Let’s face it, most of us have been there: you promised yourself you would start your next assignment two weeks earlier, but somehow you blinked and the deadline which was only three weeks away is suddenly two days away. You have to write 3000 words in three days, but you don’t even have a single word down on your document. You don’t even know where to start. If that sounds like you, you have come to the right place! Here are some of my top tried and tested tips for writing a good essay in a short time frame. The goal here is working as smart as possible in a short time frame.

By Arin Ososanya.

Start with what you have

A man with brown hair and a beard sitting at a desk reading some notes.

Most of the time, your essay will be on a topic you have already covered in class. That makes things a bit easier because you would have made notes from your lectures and seminars on that topic, to get the ball rolling. Looking through your notes is a great way to start because it helps you get a better idea of what your argument could be for the essay.

When you have your general argument, using your lecture and seminar notes, write down three to four main sub-arguments which link to your general argument. This could be from a thematic perspective i.e looking at different themes which support your main argument. Or, it could be from a theoretical perspective, there are so many ways to go about it!

Get all the research out of the way

Next, I would suggest starting the research as early as possible. Once you have an idea of what your argument is, begin to read as widely as possible around that topic. We often underestimate how long it will take us to complete certain tasks such as reading and planning. Given the time constraint, it is best to read as efficiently as possible. One of my favourite ways to do this is by using “junkyard documents”. A junkyard document contains a table where you can track your research and organise the main points from each source into your essay. For example, if you have three main arguments, you could colour code each quote from your sources based on which argument it pertains to. Ideally, you want to find interesting and unique sources that extend beyond the recommended readings provided by your professor. Look at the bibliographies of the recommended readings to find other relevant sources you could explore.

A girl with blonde hair standing in between two bookshelves reaching up for a book.

The literature should contain evidence that supports your argument, but also include sources which you can critically analyse. Bonus points if you interact sources with each other. For example, Writer A, makes a point which supports your argument and Writer B writes a paper critiquing Writer A’s point. In your essay, you could include both sources and critically analyse Writer B’s point, linking it back to the essay question. This shows that you do not just understand the topic, but you also understand the academic perspectives on the topic and you are able to contribute unique ideas to the ongoing discussion.

Plan, plan, plan

No matter how little time you have, I will always suggest planning before you put pen to paper, or, in this case, word to document. Even if you only spend thirty minutes on your plan, having a rough outline of your main points in one document will speed up the writing process.

Just put words down

You might have to pull an all-nighter, but the best way to write is to write. That means it’s okay if it’s initially a mess of words which don’t make sense. For each section, use the junkyard document and your plan to string sentences together. Don’t forget to reference as you go! When you’ve reached the word limit, give yourself a solid 2-3 hours to read through your essay and finetune your referencing. That one-last read-through makes all the difference because you will likely spot avoidable lexical mistakes. You may feel exhausted at this point and eager to hit ‘submit’, but this is a crucial step you don’t want to skip. Even better if you can put your essay through a grammar and spelling check online such as Grammarly.

Once this is done, congratulations, you’ve finished your essay! Hit submit and embrace some well-deserved rest.

Essays can be a stressful experience, but they aren’t the only thing that is central to a great university experience. Read this piece on how to balance work and social life and how to get the most out of studying over the holidays .

These are just a few tips, but I would love to know, what are your favourite last-minute tips for writing a very good essay? Let us know by tweeting us @warwicklibrary or messaging us on Instagram @warwicklibrary

Share this:

Comments are closed.

Want to get the latest Study Blog articles directly to your inbox? Subscribe below.

Type your email…

Blog at

' src=

  • Already have a account? Log in now.
  • Follow Following
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar

Have a language expert improve your writing

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • College essay
  • How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples

How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples

Published on November 5, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on June 1, 2023.

Table of contents

Organize: set yourself deadlines with breaks, brainstorm: your values and related stories, outline: choose a montage or narrative essay structure, write: be specific, personal, and unique, revise: content, clarity, and grammar, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Whether you have hours, days, or weeks, set deadlines for yourself with built-in breaks. In general, you should divide your time accordingly:

  • 10% brainstorming
  • 10% outlining
  • 40% writing
  • 30% revising
  • 10% taking breaks between stages

If you have a few hours …

If you have a few days …

If you have a week …

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

To brainstorm your topic fast, start by doing the following exercises.

Choose the stories that have the most compelling value or narrative. Make sure these stories are:

  • Meaningful to you
  • Specific (not a broad summary of your life)
  • Unique to you (another student couldn’t replicate it)

If you have a single story that showcases how you overcame a challenge or chronicles your personal growth over time, you should use a narrative structure . This type of essay tells a story, usually in chronological order. If you have very limited time, this structure is easier.

If there’s a common theme among several of your stories, you could use a montage structure , which strings together several stories (for example, to showcase different aspects of your identity). If you have more than a few hours to work on your essay, you may want to try out this structure.

To make your essay stand out , write your story in a way that no other student can replicate. As you write, keep these tips in mind:

  • Zoom in on specific moments rather than summarizing a long period of time.
  • Be vulnerable and share your honest feelings and thoughts.
  • Use your authentic voice and an appropriate tone .
  • Keep the focus on you, not another person.
  • Describe sensory details to create vivid scenes.

Make sure to build in enough time to revise your essay . Ideally, you should aim for three rounds of revision to check for content, clarity, and grammar.

If you don’t have time to fix everything, focus on making sure your writing is clear and grammatically correct. You can do this with the help of a grammar checker and paraphrasing tool .

In your first reading, focus on content:

  • Does it answer the prompt?
  • Does it focus on me, not someone else?
  • Does it have a clear and well-structured narrative?
  • Do my stories “show, not tell”?

In your second reading, focus on clarity and flow:

  • Is my essay easy to read?
  • Are my word choice and tone conversational but respectful?
  • Do I have a good mixture of complex and simple sentence structures?

In your third reading, focus on grammar and punctuation:

  • Is my writing grammatically correct?
  • If I bend language rules, is it clear that it’s intentional and not a mistake?

If you have time, get help from an essay coach or editor; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback. Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

Meeting the word count

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay. Scribbr’s essay editors can also help reduce your word count by up to 25%.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.

Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.

Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .

Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.

Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.

Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, June 01). How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from

Is this article helpful?

Kirsten Courault

Kirsten Courault

Other students also liked, how to revise your college admissions essay | examples, how long should a college essay be | word count tips, choosing your college essay topic | ideas & examples.


  1. Top 10 essay writing tips

    writing an essay in a week

  2. Essay Writing Week 1

    writing an essay in a week

  3. Research Paper Sentence Outline Example

    writing an essay in a week

  4. Essay of the Week Writing Homework

    writing an essay in a week

  5. Write An A+ Essay In A Day.

    writing an essay in a week

  6. Hazel Newman (hazelnewman7wb)

    writing an essay in a week


  1. Writing an essay is sometimes a difficult task.😂 #study #meme #college #essaywriting #students


  3. Government hospital of Nepal|| Essay on government hospital Of Nepal ||English 2023 learn essay

  4. How to Write an Essay?#shorts

  5. Essay Writing

  6. 3 Most Common Mistakes Students Make in Their Essays


  1. 15 Tips to Help You Write a Stellar Essay

    Essay-writing can be easier than you might think if you have a grasp of the basics and a willingness to engage with the subject matter. Here are 15 top tips for writing a stellar essay.

  2. How an Essay Checker Can Help You Improve Your Writing

    Writing essays can be a daunting task, especially if you are not confident in your writing skills. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you improve your writing. An essay checker is one such tool that can help you write better ess...

  3. 10 Great Essay Writing Tips

    Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses.

  4. How to write an essay in a week (or less)

    How to write an essay in a week (or less) · How to write an essay in a week or less · Day one: Plan and Outline · Day Two: Write · Day Three:

  5. How to write essay a week at university?

    My normal tip is write in intervals so on the first day get your introduction done and the first paragraph at least and then try and get another two or more

  6. When is a good time to start writing an essay, that you have a week

    You should start as soon as you get home. Start working on an outline, or mind map, and get your ideas together on paper. Depending on how many

  7. 23 Essays: How To Write One Essay Every Week

    23 Essays: How To Write One Essay Every Week · Read the prompts as soon as you get them. · Set your own deadlines. · Don't write your

  8. Essay of the Week

    Essay of the Week. Essay of the Week is built around the idea that for students to write better, deeper, and more lively essays, they need to have regular

  9. Essay Writing Like a Pro-Write a Multi-Paragraph Essay Each Week!

    In this ongoing class students will quickly learn to write a clear multi-paragraph essay

  10. How to write a whole research paper in a week

    Meanwhile, this paper-a-week approach is my favorite. That's how I write my papers, and that's what I teach to students. In on-site courses

  11. write an academic essay in a week

    Locate any books that you have used or will want to use. Get reading. Skim read chapter summaries and introductions to get an idea as to whether

  12. writing a 2,500 word essay EVERY week at university

    hey guys!! today's video is all about how I write a 2500 words essay every week!!! let's be friends on insta

  13. Last Minute Essay Writing

    Let's face it, most of us have been there: you promised yourself you would start your next assignment two weeks earlier, but somehow you

  14. How to Write a College Essay Fast

    But even if you're short on time, it's still possible to write a great college admissions essay. Whether you have a week, a few days, or