Writing an essay in a day isn’t the ideal scenario, and it’s preferable to write it well before the due date. But despite all your best intentions, life doesn’t always happen the way you expect. Rather than stressing, you can follow these steps to help you submit an essay on time.

Review the essay goals

When writing an essay in a day, it is critical to keep your goals on top of your mind. All academic assignments have specific goals., a writing service, points out that your goals when writing a college application essay, a term paper, or a dissertation will be quite different. Make sure you know exactly what’s expected of you so you can concentrate your energy in the right direction from the very beginning.

Set yourself some time management goals

Managing your time properly is essential when writing an essay in a day. It will help if you assign yourself a certain amount of time to reach various milestones. You can use the following time allocations to help you create your own schedule.

  • Allocate 15 minutes for choosing a topic and deciding on your overall argument.
  • Give yourself 20 minutes to create an outline.
  • Set aside three hours for research and finding references to back up your arguments.
  • Take 30 minutes to write an introduction.
  • Have a lunch break
  • Allocate three hours for writing your first essay draft.
  • Give yourself 30 minutes to write your conclusion.
  • Set aside two hours for feedback, reviewing and revising the essay.

Remember to schedule some 10-minute breaks between tasks to keep your mind fresh. Breaking for lunch and supper will also help you to keep your energy levels high.


Choose a topic

In normal circumstances, you can take time choosing a topic. You don’t have this luxury when trying to write an essay in a day. If you have a choice, it will be easier to write on a topic about which you already have some knowledge or opinions. Read the topics carefully before making a choice. Some may appear deceptively simple but may be harder to write than others. Some may make you want to test your IQ because they are more complex to write than others.

If you have to choose a topic, try writing down the first two or three ideas that come to mind and choose one. It’s a waste of time trying to select the ‘perfect’ topic. The topic itself doesn’t matter as much as how you execute the essay.

Don’t start writing without an outline

You may think you don’t have enough time to create an outline, but this is a big mistake. Your outline is essential to keep you on track and help you to structure your essay. It will help you to move logically from one idea to the next.

  • Think about your central thread and how all the ideas connect to it.
  • Write out points you want to make that reinforce your argument.
  • Underneath each point, use bullet points to list the information you want to cover and supporting arguments.

With a good outline, you won’t be stuck wondering what to write about next or go off on a tangent. Working on random ideas does not help, so it’s always the best idea to go with a structured plan, which is your outline of the essay.


Find the right sources

You will need some solid data and information to support your arguments. You need to limit the amount of time you spend on this as you can easily become distracted.

  • Carefully choose the keywords you use to search, so your search is clearly focused.
  • Copy and paste key ideas and quotes into a separate document. This can save you a great deal of time when it comes to citing your references.
  • If you’re using Microsoft Word, you can use its automatic referencing system by entering the details of sources as you find them. It will automatically create a bibliography or Works Cited page.

Write your first draft

Write a compelling introduction ─ Your introduction has to be compelling enough to make readers want to find out more. It should introduce your argument to them in a way that engages them and draws them in. Keep it concise, and don’t include vaguely relevant references or ideas.

Write with your outline in front of you ─ With your outline in front of you, it should be fairly easy to write your first draft. Don’t focus on perfecting your language or spelling at this stage but just get your ideas down on paper. Use the research you collected to back up your key arguments.

Check where you can add more information ─ If you’re struggling to get anywhere near the word limit, don’t panic. Find a point you haven’t fully expanded on and see if you can add any further references or quotes.

Make sure you use in-text citations ─ Make sure you’re clear about your ideas and where you use someone else’s words. It is often easy to become confused when you’re short on time. All your hard work could be discounted if you don’t properly credit your sources.

Write a concise conclusion ─ Your conclusion should pull together your arguments and explain how they tie together.


Spend time editing your essay

This is another step you can’t afford to leave out. It takes some time to refine what you have written and ensure your presentation is correct. Do the paragraphs flow well and build up to your conclusion? Are your spelling and grammar correct? Are your facts correct? Have you cited all your references? Have you included all the points you wanted to argue? Reading your essay aloud can help you to find mistakes you may not have noticed in your sentence construction etc.


If you want to write an essay in a day, you have to manage your expectations. It’s virtually impossible to produce a top-quality essay in a day. This doesn’t mean that you can’t write an essay that satisfies all the academic requirements and presents your arguments in a well-constructed way.