How to Write an Eight-Page Paper in One Night

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Other obligations and procrastination can sometimes get the better of you and you may find yourself faced with the challenge of writing an eight-page paper in one night. Though this may seem like a lot, it can be easier than you think. The worst thing you can do is panic, staring at a blank computer screen or doing other things to avoid getting started. As long as you're ready to stay focused, you can get this done.

  • Stock your home with supplies. You may need to stay up late to finish the paper. Some people use coffee, soda and snacks to help this out. Think about anything that you might want for your writing session and get it before you start. This prevents you from procrastinating later on.

  • Write your thesis statement. This tells the reader what your paper is about. In some cases, the nature of the assignment may mean your thesis is straightforward. In other cases, you'll have to choose the angle that you want to talk about. Remember that your paper needs to be eight pages long, so your thesis should allow you to easily write eight pages worth of material.

  • Scan through your research. Use your notes from class or from assignments if you have them. If you haven't started research, you still need to scan through your materials quickly, taking note of the most important points.

  • Write the bibliography. Follow the guidelines for the style your teacher prefers. This can take a surprisingly long time, so if you try to rush through it in the morning, after you've written your paper, you may not have enough time. If you later decide not to use a reference, you can easily delete it.

  • Outline your paper. You can use a traditional outline format or you could mind map the information. Everything should focus on and support your thesis statement. Once you have a few main ideas to support the thesis, you can flesh those ideas out with details.

  • Write a horrible first draft. If you spend too much time trying to get things perfect, you'll write too slowly to finish in a night. Instead, follow your outline and type as fast as you can, not worrying about whether what you're writing is good or not -- just get your ideas down.

  • Read what you wrote and edit for content. A reader should clearly understand how your facts back up your thesis statement. You may also need to add or delete content in order to reach the eight-page guideline.

  • Get some sleep. You're not quite finished with your paper, but you need to give your mind a rest.

  • Edit your paper one last time. Feeling refreshed, you may catch mistakes that you didn't see the first time.

Tips & Warnings

  • The "Pomodoro Technique" can help you stay focused. In this technique, you work hard for 25 minutes, then take a five minute break. After doing this four times, you can take a longer break. This helps you to eliminate distractions when working, while still giving your mind the occasional break.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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