The Last Minute Essay



I’d say about 70% of you reading this are in the exact predicament, where you’re scrolling through Facebook to check if you’re friend is online, because you’ve both left that essay to the last minute. First of all, no judgement, we’ve all been there! But you and I both know you’re not going to get that essay done, sitting on Facebook and watching videos of cats being adopted and eaten by lions.

1. Set up a Social Media blocker

It’s going to be a long night, and it’s going to feel a little longer without a little help from your friends, but it’s going to take away all those temptations of viral videos to watch, exes to stalk, party invitations to decline – because you’ve got more important things to do. Obviously. If you do need to contact that friend, do it the old fashioned way. Give them a call. Tell them to email you that article. And then hang up and get to it!

2. Round up your articles

If you’ve already done this the night before, good job! You’re a functioning procrastinator! For those of you that haven’t, dedicate the first few hours to this because there is nothing worse than stopping midway to have to search for a direct quote that proves your point. Search for certain phrases or key words that you can copy and paste into an extra document. This is going to be your bible for the night.

3. Sketch out your essay

Skim through all those quotes you’ve collected. Find any similarities? Differences? Good! It means you know what the essays are about. Read the question. Answer it in the simplest way possible. Now start organising your quotes into paragraphs. This is your essay. Now let’s flesh out that word count, by comparing and contrasting. If in doubt, always refer back to the question.

4. REIZE out of the 1am Slump

It’s an all-nighter, you can’t back down now. Pour yourself a REIZE to convert those soggy early morning hours into your game-changer over-times. No need to wake the others by bringing a kettle to boil. Just pour yourself a glass of water, tear open a sachet and you’re good to go. It’s your caffeine hit without the 3 sugars you were tempted to add, helping you stay in the zone for a few hours more.

5. Proofread

You’re against the ropes and you’re reeling while the birds are chirping outside, but fear not my friend, you’ve made it to the final round. Dab that forehead, scroll to the top and read it through. Out loud. Chances are that in your late night delirium, you’ve repeated yourself or misspelled a word or two, but you’ve done the work, so trust yourself that the content is correct. Let’s not rob you of those last few marks because of a few silly grammatical errors. Re-structure a sentence, correct a word, and move on.

6. Catch public transport

The essay is printed out and you’ve put it into your bag. Final hurdle! Handing it in on time. If you’ve got time to spare, reward yourself with a nanna nap, ending with an alarm with your favourite get up and go tune. If not, have a good stretch, and check the bus or train timetable. You’ll notice you’re a little bit sluggish after an all nighter. You might be slurring, or your co-ordination isn’t as smooth. In fact, you might exhibit effects similar to a hard night on the town. Lack of sleep can mimic being intoxicated and the only cure is sleep itself, so do yourself one last favour and put down those car keys. No essay is worth a fender bender. Help yourself to another REIZE and give yourself a pat on the back for cheating fate.

Count your blessings for now, you’ve still got a fair bit of work to go before you strut out with your cap and gown, but hopefully, this will be the last time… or one of the last times.

Written by Jacinta Lai