The 12 Stages of Writing a Last Minute Essay

The ability to write an essay is key for any University student. In an ideal world, you would start your essay off with a week or two to spare. With a few days to go you could proof read and fine tune the essay to bring it up to submission standard. However for many, this is a dream, not a reality. Instead, YouTube proves to be too much of a distraction, with the hours flying by. So you are left with little time to complete your essay… This is a similar problem for many, and anyone who has been in this situation should be able to relate to this article. Enjoy!

Stage One: Initial Calm


“It isn’t due until next week, it is fine.” You tell yourself this, but the only issue is that you have been saying this now for a while. Now, the essay is due tomorrow, and time is running out.


Stage Two: Introduction… And Food


You heroically write the introduction, and feel good about life again. There is a long journey to go, but at least you have started. Yet as you start to think about writing the main body, suddenly your stomach starts to rumble. So it is time for dinner, and hey, you can’t work while you eat, so you catch up on the latest Netflix episode.


Stage Three: Interruptions and Distractions


Once your TV show comes to an end, you open up the Word Document again and try to start writing again. But progress is slow, and as you attempt to charge on with your essay, your phone has other ideas. The group chat is on fire, notifications are coming at you left right and centre, and your sibling decides now is an appropriate time to call for a catch-up. Finally, your flatmate ‘insists’ on being helped with something. The essay stalls.




Stage Four: Turning to Google


The hours are flying by and you realise you need some extra knowledge to write the essay. There isn’t enough time to read the book you need to, so it is time to bring Google in. You Google the question to the essay and use whatever comes up. This stage usually ends in a quick browse of Wikipedia.


Stage Five: Coffee


With the hours going by quickly, you begin to tire. So now it is time to go for some coffee, which should help you through the inevitable long night/morning you are heading for.


Stage Six: Rallying


At long, long last, progress is made. With the caffeine flowing in your system, and Google on your side, the essay starts to take shape. Over the course of the next hour, the majority of your essay is done, and meeting the deadline looks realistic.




Stage Seven: Bathroom Break


After the coffee, the toilet offers a welcome reprieve from your laptop screen. Yet as you sit on the toilet, you have a chance to ponder life, and question the various decisions that you have made to get you to this point.


Stage Eight: Fighting Tiredness


The next day is in full swing, and while everyone else in the world is sleeping, you are writing away. These next few minutes are characterized by an ongoing battle to stay awake. As you tell yourself that sleep is for the weak, you try and summon the strength to get some more words down.


Stage Nine: Trying to Spellcheck


Eventually you get the write-up done. Next, it is time to spellcheck your work – in an effort to disguise the fact that this was a last-minute effort. You discover as you read through that there are many limitations to the power of the Microsoft Word Spell Checker. But eventually, you get the paper to a standard that you are ‘happy’ with.




Stage Ten: Wrestling with the Printer


You have battled your way to the campus, and it is time to go to the library. Others observe your zombie-like appearance and look at you strangely. As you sit down to print, you just know that the printer will throw one final spanner in the works. After a wrestling match with the printer, you eventually get it to work, and you watch the printer spew out your essay.


Stage Eleven: The Hand-in


Eventually, you hand in your work, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. The work is done, and your struggle is complete.




Stage Twelve: Sleep


As you make it back to your room, you can finally sleep. As your eyes slowly drift off, you promise yourself that you will never leave an essay to the last minute again… Even though you know full well that you will soon be in the same position again.





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