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How to Write a Quick Draft of a College Essay

If you’re running behind schedule when it comes to college essay deadlines, it can be extremely stressful. However, most essays require that you turn in a draft prior to the final project, and this means you have a bit more time than you think. Keeping in mind that first drafts are supposed to be rough, you can easily whip up a quick draft of a college essay to keep your professor off your back. In fact, it’ll do more than buy you time, because you’ll also get plenty of feedback from your professor, which will make writing the final draft even faster once you get to that point.

Here’s how to write the fastest rough draft possible.

  1. Choose an exceptional thesis statement.
  2. Okay, with the time crunch, exceptional might be pushing it—but you’ll still want to put most of your effort into this step, because it will make the rest so much easier. Your thesis statement should be:

    • Relevant (of course) to the assigned topic
    • Easy to defend (there should be copious material that you don’t have to go far to research)
    • Straightforward and clear

  3. Find three pieces of evidence to support your thesis statement.
  4. As mentioned above, you should have chosen a thesis statement that would be easy to defend, so this should be a piece of cake. Depending on the length of the essay assigned, you might need more than three, but you’ll definitely need at least that many.

  5. Outline your body paragraphs.
  6. Next, create an outline for three (or more if necessary) body paragraphs. Each one should have one piece of your supporting evidence as its main idea.

  7. Write the body of the essay.
  8. Now that you have a main idea for each paragraph, and have put them in order in your outline, write the body of the essay first (writing the intro and conclusion will be faster if you’ve already got a draft of the body).

  9. Write the introduction and conclusion.
  10. Referencing your body paragraphs, whip up a quick intro and conclusion that state your thesis statement, and summarize your main points.

  11. Quickly proofread.
  12. A rough draft isn’t expected to be perfect, but you want it to look like you spent a little more time on it than you actually did, so check for obvious spelling and grammar errors.