www.jesscampbell.weeblyAsked to do this. I NOPED the heck out of there.
So you have an essay that’s due (hopefully) a week from now. Let’s face it, though. It’s probably due tomorrow.

It doesn’t matter how much time you have left. These three actions are the best way to get an A on your essay (not considering the actual content you write).

This is the foundation I use for all my essays, whether it’s creative fiction or academic essays, and why I’ve won awards for them.

So your Fictional History essay on the history of Pope Octopus is due Monday at 11AM. It’s Sunday 12AM now. Are you thinking:  How am I ever going to do this? I hate that freaking octopus!

You need to start thinking: I got three hours. I’ll make Pope Octopus fricking sparkle!

Three hours begins…NOW.

Research for forty minutes.

Now, this really depends on how long your essay is supposed to be. 4 pages and under, 40 minutes can get it done. 8 pages, add another 40 minutes so you can find about 3 more sources to use.

Use your college’s academic research search site and find at least TWO great quality sources and THREE so-so resources. The key here is to use quality to make your essay look great.

Quality also equals more wordcount, because you have multiple topics to address within that one source. Woo!

The so-so sources are going to be used just to quote facts. It will back up what you find during your research and then you can expand on your opinion, whether you disagree, etc. These three sources will be there to expand your wordcount if your quality sources fall short after you use them.

What you need:
TWO great quality sources
THREE so-so quality

Write the body of the essay, then the introduction and conclusion.

If you’re starting this the night before it’s due, then this part is imperative. Get the major work out of the way first, so that you can find your thesis. This makes the intro and conclusion shine.

If you don’t know what your essay will be about, then how will you ever write the introduction? It's like finding your shoes in the dark when the fire alarm goes off. You'll be barefoot outside if you don't know where to look. 

The introduction is a great way to introduce conclusions you make later on, ask questions related to your content, and state your “before I wrote this essay” opinion.

The conclusion gives you a valuable way to restate your conclusions, how this can be explored in further research (which you hopefully don’t have to do!), and present ways that your research can be used to contradict the “norm” opinion.

What you need:
Some way to write your essay. Like the wall.

Make it look ~fancy.

Now, this is super important for the well-being of your professor who’s going to blow his top if he finds a wall of text when he gets to your paper. He will literally throw it away.

If I was your professor, I’d stomp on it and set it on fire.


Another note: If your paper reads like the traditional high school paper, he’s going to make frownie faces all throughout reading. Five paragraph papers, off a template, are boring. Not fun.

You're not in high school anymore. You have a whole new set of standards now.

To prevent this high school paper plague, the idea here is to go through your paper and find where you can add a sentence to create a paragraph.

Take a look at your paper up close. Now enter the print screen view on your computer and see how it looks from a long view. Does it read like a wall of text? Is there on huge paragraph you can break into pieces? 

Exclude, rewrite, or shorten sentences and paragraphs that make it look gross from a long view. Don’t have a random sentence between paragraphs. Make it look pretty and your professor will be so grateful after all the gross-looking papers he’s read all night.

This part might make you delete some sentences, but don't be afraid of reducing your wordcount! You can add the content to other sentences, add the sentence to another paragraph, and can even add an awesome paragraph if you look for ways you can expand that naughty sentence into several.

What you need:

This is the easiest way to write your essay. Of course, for some essays, research will expand into days, not hours. Then content will be no-telling how long for some research papers, especially when the page length requirement is 40-50 pages long (I wish that wasn’t a true story).

But no matter how long it takes you (mine usually take 3 hours depending on how hard sources are to find), this foundation will help you ace that essay and put Pope Octopus in the big leagues.

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Pope Octopus RIP

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