Sometimes it can be really easy to just not work on that study until it’s way too late. Cleaning your room, helping a friend, or going out are some of the casual remedies we use to distract ourselves from those looming deadlines. If (like me and a lot of my friends) you might be prone to leaving things last minute every now and then, you might find some of these essay top tips quite helpful.

Essay Plan

An effective essay plan can make you feel a lot more confident about where your work is heading, even if you’re on the last day before your deadline. Writing a statement and then putting (evidence) in brackets for a reference or quotation afterwards is something I personally do to assure that what I am writing has a point, and that i’m not just referencing to fill a void. It can also be really refreshing to just write without thinking, even if it doesn’t make that much sense, because you’re at least giving yourself a structure to work off of.

Ask your friends

If you’re short of ideas, discussing your work with your friends can help you feel reassured or can add to your essay what you might not have thought about. It can also be nice to hear that everybody else is finished to pressure you into writing, or that none of your friends have so that you’re not as stressed.

Looking closely at example work

This is great for if structuring is a big problem for you. Looking at example pieces in the ‘content’ section of your module on NOW can show you exactly what to aim for.

All it takes is one good reference

Finding a good list of references to back up your claims can be really hard, but I would advise looking for one or two works that relate closely to what you’re doing. Then, you can dig through their references and then the references of those works to create a reference list that is tried and true.

Do your references as you go

You might think leaving your references last minute could mean more time writing your essay, but often it’s really easy to overlook just how long it could take to create an entire bibliography if you’re not doing it as you go, especially if you have to find the references again. You can even extract citations from databases by finding the ‘export’ button, or, you can use to automatically create references for you. I would advise looking at example work just to be sure your referencing is within your course criteria as well.

Schedule nap times

It might be that you’ve left it late enough that you can’t get a good night’s sleep – if so, it’s important to know your nap schedule. If you know you need a few good hours, make sure to allocate yourself some in between writing, this can also refresh you enough to properly review your work when you wake up. Just know how many hours you know you can do, as having too much or too little could leave you in a bad place.

Most importantly, remember you’re probably not the only one! (But also next time don’t leave it so late..)