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  • Le Wang

How to Write an Essay in Under 24 Hours

For new and seasoned high schoolers alike, procrastination is likely no stranger to you. Almost everyone knows the feeling: a big essay or assignment looming over your head for weeks, only to be attempted at 11:30 the night before it’s due. Despite the warnings of teachers against such practices, procrastination is a quintessential part of high school. Anyone that enters high school will have at least one late night cram session with frantic typing in the dead of night . But fear not, as this guide will provide you with all you need to ace (or at least pass) that essay. After all, what is weeks of meticulous planning compared to some last-minute genius?

Step 1: The Excuse

If you are past your deadline for your essay or assignment, the perfect excuse will save you from a zero on your assignment. The key to this step is to craft the perfect excuse by having a story that is both plausible and unique. Unfortunately, the imaginary dog eating homework just won’t cut it in today’s academic climate. The key to getting an extra three days for your assignment includes some creativity on your part. For example, your dog’s babysitter’s iguana having an emergency or your laptop having an existential crisis will put you in the clear.

Step 2: The Preparation

To actually be able to write your essay, you will need two things. The first is caffeine. This is to ensure that you will not be tempted to hit the hay instead of hitting the books. Typically, one to two cups of coffee should suffice. The second thing required is adrenaline. Having a looming fear of failing your class will give you all the motivation you need to fill up those five pages.

The combination of adrenaline and caffeine may be enough to transform any procrastinator into the next New York Times bestseller. With these two things at your disposal, you may never require any of the above excuses.

Step 3: The Essay

Although counterintuitive, the best planning is no planning. When you’re short on time, every minute matters. This is why it’s best to skip the outlining stage and just start typing. After all, every teacher is sure to appreciate the unfiltered, raw power of your work. In fact, this essay may be so memorable that your teachers will have you stay after class to discuss it.

Step 4: The Art of BS (blatant speculation)

While writing this essay, you may find yourself googling book quotes or historical sources for it. That is a huge mistake. You’re already pressed for time, and ensuring you have accurate information will only slow you down. This is where the technique of BS (blatant speculation) comes through. As long as what you’re writing sounds right, it probably is. The teachers probably won’t even notice. After all, whether or not George Washington was the first president doesn’t really matter. In fact, BSing your essay will give your writing a creative, interpretive touch that a planned essay could never produce.

Step 5: The Thesaurus

If you’ve gotten to this step, then congratulations! You’re almost through the night! It may be 2 AM, or you may already hear the birds chirping. Either way, there’s only a few more steps to complete.

Now that you have your first (and almost certainly last) draft, it’s time to edit. To give your essay the illusion of being well thought out, dig out a thesaurus from the back of your attic. Or just use Google. Find a simple and boring word, such as “beautiful,” and replace them with some obscure fancy language, like “pulchritudinous.” Your teachers will just adore this trick, as they will surely never figure out that you aim to hide behind fancy words because you have nothing meaningful to say.

Step 6: Proofread (optional)

A grammar mistake here and there won’t make much of a difference. It’s probably 7AM for you. Might as well get in that thirty minutes of sleep.

Perfection is overrated anyways.

NOTE: Lastly, to prove how well this guide works: this entire article was written last minute.


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