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Essays? More like Stress-ays! Tricks to Pass Writing Assignments

Let’s be realistic here, writing papers for class (especially for non-English majors) can be one of the biggest stressors of your college career. Once you have to sit down and face the topic, it’s hard to know where to begin and where to end. As a procrastinator and a well-known writing freak, I even feel the stress against the clock when faced with a topic I don’t really want to deal with. Here are a few writing comforts (and tricks) to make classwork a little less of a burden on us all!

First off, Pinterest is your friend. 

Whenever I’m stuck trying to figure out what to write, I immediately run to Pinterest and see what ideas I can find. The website is full of organization ideas, writing tips, and even simple prompts to help get you started writing. If you’re completely in a bind, look to others for help (but, remember, be sure not to plagiarize! This is just a way to find ideas, not supplement theirs for your own!) and listen to those out there! The internet is full of people ready to help you make the best grade you can.

Make an outline!

Outlines are tough and intimidating, but working through your assignment methodically can really lessen the stress of a paper (especially one that’s more than three pages). Again, Pinterest can really be helpful for this, but I’d figure I would share my own personal outline strategy. I like to write questions that I would want to answer in my essay and create bullet points of what to talk about in order to answer these questions. For example, if I was assigned a Shakespeare topic regarding women, I’d ask myself “which women do I want to write about?” and “why are these women relevant to my argument?” Remember, people will be questioning your writing, so try to make your argument as cohesive as possible. You want to succeed in proving your point!

Make hard deadlines. Follow them. Listen to your needs.

As much as I would like to procrastinate and ignore my problems, it only makes my life harder in the long run. Make yourself a list of achievable (but definite) deadlines that you need to hit for your essay to be done on time. Shoot for your essay to be done early to allow yourself time for cleaning, revision (it’s always better to be early than late!) and maybe even enough time to turn the assignment in before the deadline. I like to make time limits in my outline so every time I refer back to the document I’m reminded of when I need to have sections completed. Make your life easier and plan it out! 

Remember, your grades don’t define you!

No matter what, remember that a grade is just a grade. You’ll make it through this assignment and the world will still keep spinning. Try to make the process as easy as you can and take it day by day. Keep calm and always remember: you’ve got this!

Kristen Bastin

Louisiana Tech '20

Technical Writing and Creative Writing student at Louisiana Tech.
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