Writing academically

Assignments and Essay Writing

Essay Writing Time Management

First you need to put your deadlines onto a semester or termly planner. You can use a planner to propose when sections of the work will be completed. It is easier to break your work down into manageable components rather than having to focus on the whole task. When planning it is important to be realistic about how much time you may need for each section and be aware of theother responsibilities you may have in your life. An essay can be broken down into as many or as few parts as you choose.

Areas to breakdown:-

  • Choose or make sense of the essay question
  • Divide work into sub-tasks, e.g. when to go to the library, make notes, write rough drafts etc.
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Read and choose appropriate information. Make notes
  • Organise a plan for the essay
  • Write 1st draft – then re-read and alter
  • Write final version - proof read and check references
  • Deadline - hand in.

However, you may wish to plan in fewer sub-tasks which avoids planning in too many tasks. You could break it down into the main areas of:-

  • Researching - take notes from books and other sources
  • Organising content - make a plan for the essay and organise notes
  • Write a rough draft - re-read once completed
  • Deadline - proof read and check references.


MAIN TASK 

DEADLINE

TIME TO COMPLETE

Write an Essay

6 Weeks Away

4 Weeks

SUB-TASKS

DEADLINE

TIME TO COMPLETE

Research

1 Month Away

2 Weeks

Organise Content

2 Weeks Away

2 Days

Write First Draft

2 Weeks Away

1 Week

Final Draft

1 Week Away

3 Days

The sections can be colour coded onto the planner and re-used throughout the year. Once in the habit, it will become easier to plan in components of work as you will become more aware of roughly how much time it takes for each section.

If you have a number of close deadlines given for essays then you will need to prioritise. One rule to work to is to allow four weeks to complete an average sized essay (between 2000-4000 words). 

This may seem like a long time, but when you factor in other commitments in reality you will actually have less time. Look at your nearest deadline. Start to plan how much time you will need to complete it. You may find some deadlines close together. Can you plan in the time to access all the resources you need for both deadlines at the same time? Any work which might be similar or have links could always be worked on at the same time.

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