How to Write a Last Minute Essay

Or How to Get Through CEGEP

By Aaron Rogers (Procrastinator)

During your time at John Abbott you may find yourself in a bind to finish an assignment. In fact, some students are always in a perpetual state of work whereas others seem to complete tasks with minimal effort while receiving adequate marks. Well it’s not because they’re more intelligent, talented, experienced, or better than you in any conceivable way. They’ve simply made a habit of doing work efficiently, and in this article, I’ll explain how they do it.

Over many years of diligent procrastination, a system has been developed to maintain mediocre marks with last-minute assignments. The key is to properly identify what the task involves and then match it to the main points that a teacher will mark.

Take an English essay on a book for example. The assignment may involve much more than just writing. Before writing the actual essay you may find yourself:

  • Brainstorming for ideas
  • Reading or re-reading excerpts from the novel
  • Organizing your content
  • Changing your thesis
  • Writing a rough draft

These should all be avoided. Recall that, although these may be part of writing an essay, an efficiently completed assignment involves only the tasks that contribute to the mark. And let’s be honest, you don’t have time to mess around.

In this example, the teacher will mark you on the quality of your final essay. So do that. Just that. Just write the final essay. Minimize the time spent on ideas, organization, and thinking about your writing in general. This doesn’t mean that you should just blast through 1000 words of gibberish. On the contrary, stick to the very basics. Did your teacher hand out a paper with possible thesis statements? Use them. Do you vaguely remember something insightful mentioned in class? Half your work is done for you.

The crux of the technique is that you are able to get to the point while writing. Don’t mess around with superfluous words and explanations. You’ll end up making up words and statements you don’t even photosynthesize. This will allow you to write the essay with only a basic understanding of the subject and still receive bonus points for “clarity”.

An essay is a good example but this can be used in almost every task at school. There’s no need to study when all the marks come from writing the actual test. The actual performance of an experiment is redundant if all the marks come from the lab report. Why show up to class when most of the marks come from the final anyway?

This can even apply to aspects of day-to-day life. If you’re paid by the hour, the only important part of the job is showing up. Everything is legal and therefore allowed as long as you don’t get caught.

The idea may have stemmed from schoolwork, but the essence of it is that by optimising your time spent to only value the things that directly earn credit, you can safely expect an ideal life of not very much work with below-average results. Some may say that you could do better, to which your reply should be “what’ll you give me for it?”.

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