Writing essays is a fundamental part of University, and overcoming the hurdles presented by such an assignment is key to eventually graduating from University. The process of writing an essay, from start to finish, usually resembles a similar cycle. While some sensible students set out a strong plan that they implement successfully, many student’s will unfortunately fall into the trap of thinking there is plenty of time… time which quickly disappears. So hat’s off to you if you are one of the sensible student’s. Otherwise, this one is for you, any student that has struggled through an essay!
1. The Relaxation Stage
This is the stage when you tell yourself that there is plenty of time ahead of the deadline, and that there is no need to worry. So you watch that extra episode on Netflix, you go out that night you shouldn’t, and generally put off thinking about anything essay-related.
2. The Planning Stage
Realising that you are at University to obtain a degree at the end of the day, it is time to head to the library and do some ‘background research’. While this sometimes consists of a coffee at the University café, other times it will be a leisurely browse of books on the subject area. Only that when you get there, you realise that the books you need are gone, and the back-up books have been reserved.
3. The Denial Stage
The preliminary research didn’t really help much, but still, you made a start. However, your mood soon changes when Chris from your seminar class gloats about how he has completed the essay, well ahead of the deadline. Suddenly you are in denial, and think that you aren’t behind, after all, there’s time left…
4. The Panic Stage
Suddenly you realise that Chris isn’t the only one who has completed the essay, and you are behind. There is a sudden rush to do anything essay related – whether reading books, downloading journals or emailing your lecturer. But while you may be panicking, at least you are finally making progress…
5. The Distraction Stage
Any attempt however to gain momentum struggles thanks to the numerous distractions that are around. Your phone is your worst enemy, and the group chat has chosen the wrong time to be a hot-bed of activity. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all need to be regularly checked. You realise that you need to shut out these distractions if the essay is going to be done!
6. The Rally Stage
Eventually you shut out all of the distractions, and you start to rally. In these blissful three hours, everything in your life makes sense. You show the standard of work that got you into University in the first place. This stage is of course helped by numerous snacks. By the end of this stage, the write-up is done.
7. The Proof-Read Stage
Yet the joy you felt following the end of the write-up is short lived. When you come to read through your essay, you uncover numerous spelling mistakes, factual errors and the occasional swear word that your ‘friend’ smuggled in when you weren’t looking. Still, eventually you make sure it all makes sense, just about anyway.
8. The Gloss Stage
Your masterpiece of an essay wouldn’t be complete without adding some gloss to the finished product. At this stage you add words such as ‘thus’, ‘moreover’, ‘furthermore’ and even the odd ‘therefore’. You are very proud at this stage. But as is a general rule in life, what goes up, must come down…
9. The Anger Stage
It is at this point, where you realise that once again, you didn’t reference as you went along. Referencing is a dull activity, but it needs to be done…
10. The Acceptance Stage
This is the stage where you finally come to terms with a true fact of life – nothing is perfect. Regardless of how much effort you put in, this essay just won’t quite be a First Class. But at least you have reached the acceptance stage.
11. The Hand-In Stage
This is where you
are completely happy with the result have reached the end of your tether, and decide enough is enough.
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12. The Evaluation Stage
This is where you look back on the essay process, and say to yourself – next time, things will be better. However deep down, you know this process will be repeated…