Get 'er done! How to write quickly and efficiently!

Posted on: January 31, 2013

Because writing is one of the fundamental building blocks in our educational journey, let’s discuss one of the biggest hurdles we all face when working on a deadline:  write it well, or write it fast.  Now if we had unlimited time and energy, we could all turn out beautifully crafted papers and forum posts on a daily basis.  But the truth is, no one has unlimited time or energy and our writing often suffers.  So how do we ensure quality writing in the short amount of time that we may have?

Here’s how:

  1. Know the assignment. The first step toward better, faster writing is to first understand the material and second understand what your professor has asked you to write about. Before you type a single word, you need to answer big questions: “What am I writing?” and “What idea or thesis am I trying to convey?”  It’s also a good idea to know the deadline for your assignment before you get started to make sure everything is complete and turned in on time.
  2. Gather facts, info and resources first.  A brick mason would never show up to a work site without his tools or his bricks; in the same way writers must have all their ideas and facts in one place before they can begin crafting a paper. Once you have all your facts in a row, you’ll be well equipped to start typing.  If the research process is taking a long time, ask your professors or fellow classmates for support. 
  3. Make a simple outline.  Before you start typing, create a thesis statement and outline at least three main points that support your thesis.  Then write out a concluding statement.  As you write your paper, fill in the paragraphs to support your thesis.  The conclusion should summarize the points you have laid out in the rest of the paper. 
  4. Start writing.  That paper won’t write itself, so set aside an hour or chunk of time to write down your ideas.  If you’ve done all the prep work, the paper should write itself.
  5. Finish strong!  Don’t forget to edit your paper and even ask a friend to read through it as well.   A fresh set of eyes will tell you if you have any grammar mistakes or if your paper is logical and easy to understand. 

Though these steps may seem like extra work, they will actually save you time in the long run and limit writers block and frustration.  If you have a good idea, facts to support it, and a solid outline, the actual writing process will flow with ease!