How To Make an Initial Essay Writing Plan

In a previous posting we discussed the curse of procrastination and how the best way to overcome it is by working from a “writing schedule” or plan. Coming up with an essay-writing plan immediately after the essay is assigned is a great idea because it helps to keep you on track and focused. This way, you won’t find that you’re rushing to complete your entire essay the night before it is due in a panic. It also helps to guarantee that your actually get your paper completed on time and are not docked marks for being late.

If you have never worked from an essay-writing plan before you may a bit uncertain about how to begin. Knowing how much time you need to schedule and what milestones you should set can be a bit confusing at first. We have included some helpful pointers to get you started.


  1. Consider how much time you have been allotted to complete the essay so you can make your plan accordingly. Basically if the paper is due in a week you will have to work every single night for about 30 minutes or so. If the paper is due in a few months then you may want to work on it on a weekly basis, for example: every Sunday.

  2. Keep in mind that the more time you have the higher the expectations your instructor will have for grading. Normally essays that are assigned over a long period of time are worth a large grade percentage.

  3. Carefully study the assignment criteria; the word count (or page count) will give you a sense of how much time you need to put in to writing your paper.

  4. Use a scheduler or a calendar to plan your writing strategy. Decide whether you want to work for a few minutes each night or if you want to work for longer periods on specific dates. Prompt your self to keep your commitments by booking a study room in the library or pair up with a partner who will encourage you.

  5. Lastly, create milestones for each part of the writing process. For example, have your outline completed by Tuesday. Have the preliminary draft completed by Thursday. Write these down on a calendar and stick to them. Remember, the purpose of this is not to procrastinate. Hold your self to these milestones and you will be more successful.

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