What to Do If an Essay is Not Written: Strategies for Success

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 7 Min Read

Staring at an empty document, the cursor blinking back at you, can be an overwhelming experience. We’ve all been there – a looming deadline, an unwritten essay, and a mind that refuses to cooperate. But don’t worry, I’m here to help. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover practical steps to take when your essay still needs to be written.

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Acknowledge the Issue and Create a Plan

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand what’s holding you back. Do you need clarification about the topic? Is it writer’s block? Or is procrastination the culprit? Identifying the problem is the first step toward resolution. Here’s a three-step plan to get you started:

  1. Research: If the topic is the challenge, let’s tackle it head-on. Dive into scholarly articles, credible websites, and educational videos. Look for different perspectives, interesting facts, and critical themes related to your subject. But remember, it’s essential to use current resources. Make sure your research materials are at most three years. Keeping your information up-to-date will enhance your essay’s relevance and credibility.
  2. Outline: Outlining your essay can help channel your thoughts and give you a clear direction. Break down your piece into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In each section, jot down the main points you want to cover, the arguments you wish to present, and evidence to support these claims. This step can turn your daunting essay into a series of manageable tasks.
  3. Schedule: Time management is a critical skill in essay writing. Break down your job into small, manageable parts. Allocate specific time slots for research, brainstorming, writing, and revising. This way, you can handle the magnitude of the task, and I’ll be better equipped to meet your deadline.
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Procrastination – The Hidden Enemy

We all know the age-old foe – procrastination. The urge to delay work can creep up subtly, and before you know it, hours have passed with no progress. Conquering procrastination involves discipline and effective techniques like the “Pomodoro Technique.”

This approach involves breaking your work into intervals, typically 25 minutes long, separated by short breaks. This method encourages focus, reduces fatigue, and significantly boosts productivity.

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Embrace the Power of Drafts

When you write, remember that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. The pressure of crafting flawless sentences on the first try can hinder your creativity and progress. Instead, let your thoughts flow freely, capture your ideas, and don’t worry about mistakes. The goal of your first draft is to transform your thoughts into words; the refinement comes later during the revision process.

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Seek Feedback

Sometimes, we can be blind to our mistakes or miss gaps in our arguments. It is where feedback comes in. Share your draft with peers, tutors, or use online platforms. Fresh eyes can spot inconsistencies, suggest improvements, and provide different perspectives.

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Revising – The Key to a Stellar Essay

Revising is not just about correcting grammar and spelling, although that’s important too. It’s about enhancing the flow of your ideas, ensuring your argument’s coherence, and verifying your essay’s structure.

It’s the stage where you refine your work and make it shine. So, allocate enough time for revision, and always ensure your essay aligns with the guidelines set by your professor or prompt.

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Use Technology to Your Advantage

In this digital age, numerous tools and resources are available to aid in your writing process. Grammar and spell-check tools, like Grammarly, can help correct errors. Tools like Mendeley or Zotero can streamline your citation process. Using technology can reduce the load and make the essay-writing process smoother.

If you’re concerned that technology doesn’t help you and your draft may be ruined, there’s no need to worry. Seek out a dependable assistant and valuable guidance on Papercoach.

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Stay Healthy and Inspired

While it may appear an off-topic tip, maintaining your physical and emotional wellness is vital. A healthy mind flourishes in a healthy body; the same is true for writing. Maintain hydration, eat healthily, and prioritize sleep. These elements directly impact your cognitive capacities and can reduce your productivity levels.

Take breaks to keep your mind fresh. Consider stepping outside for a walk or even just switching your workspace. Changes in scenery can often spark creativity. Keep your spirits high, and inspiration will follow.

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Writing an essay can seem daunting, but remember, it’s a journey. Every journey has ups and downs, smooth paths, and rocky roads. But with these strategies in your toolkit, you’ll be prepared to navigate your way, conquer the challenges, and come out triumphant. You’ve got this!


What should I do if I need help to understand my essay topic?

If you want assistance with the issue, conduct extensive research. Look for articles, videos, or podcasts that discuss your topic. Discussing the matter with your classmates or professors might clear up any confusion. There is no such thing as a foolish question.

How do I overcome writer’s block?

Change your environment or your routine. Take a short walk, listen to music, or try speaking your thoughts aloud. Remember, every writer faces this challenge from time to time. The key is not to stress about it. Take a break if needed, and return to it with a fresh mind.

How can I effectively manage my time while writing an essay?

Create a schedule. Break down your task into smaller, more manageable parts – research, brainstorming, writing, and revising. Dedicate specific time slots to each. This way, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to stay on track. Remember also to factor in short breaks to keep your mind fresh.

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Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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