And you want me to tell you how to get it done and make a decent grade. Bad news: I’m not sure I can. Good news: I will still attempt to help you. But before we start on the technicalities of writing a decent paper (and really, decent is all you can hope for at this point) let me implore you to NEVER wait this late again. Your life and the life of the person grading the essay will improve immeasurably if you stop putting off writing until the last minute.
It is too late for that now, however, so how do we proceed? Well here is the foolproof plan–ready? Open a blank document on your computer or a blank page of your notebook and start writing. I mean that. Just start. You don’t need more coffee, a quieter space, a better love life, a cleaner desk, or to do more research. Start typing. Well, finish reading this and then start typing.
But how do I start, you ask? I assume your professor gave you a prompt sheet or assignment description of some sort. Look at it. What is the paper asking of you? Most college essays fall into one of three categories: analytical, synthetic, or comprehensive.
If all else fails, turn the question of the prompt into a sentence, and then keep going with your draft. However (and this is VERY important), do not leave that prompt sentence in the final copy! I’m going to say that again. Do not leave that sentence there. Cut it. It’s a fine springboard, but restating the prompt sounds amateurish and silly. And we can’t have that, can we?
Moving on. See my other posts on What a Good Thesis Looks Like and Ten Ways Not to Suck at Writing.
You can do this, but the paper won’t write itself. Why are you still here? Write already!