Writing an Essay in a Short Time - A Guide

April 20, 2017

Writing an Essay in a Short Time - A Guide

Find out how you can write an essay in a short time with iRevise.com


Writing an essay during an exam can be stressful. Not only do you have to assess the question and come up with an answer quickly, but you also must write out your answer in the allotted time.

It can be both mentally and physically tiring. There are, however, some ways that you can make this process easier and bring yourself closer to that top mark.

A general rule for writing essays is that you must have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. This is the most common way of setting up an essay, and should be used when you are sitting your exams.

There is no law that states how long each of these has to be, so it will be up to you to decide. You should, however, spend the majority of your time on the body of the essay, as this is the most important. Sometimes, an introduction and a conclusion are only one sentence each and the student still is able to receive a top mark.

Your introduction, however short as it may be, should introduce the text/film/poem at hand, any authors/directors/poets, and the subject of the question. If there is some background information that you feel is necessary to include, here is a good place to include it.

Here at iRevise.com, we recommend that you end your introduction with something called a “thesis statement”. A thesis statement is one (sometimes two, depending on the complexity of the question/answer) that contains the focus of your response and tells the reader what your essay is going to be about. In short, it is a one sentence summary of your essay and will serve as a “road map” for the reader. (See example below.)

The body, as stated, is the most important part of your response. This is the part where you answer the question in full. For every point you make, state it convincingly and back it up with direct examples and quotes. (See example below.)

The conclusion of your essay is where you wrap things up. You should make any final points that compliment what you have already said, but do not introduce “brand new” information. Here is not where you should be making new arguments, but merely backing up what you have already stated. (See example below.)

Prompt: ‘I like (or do not like) to read the poetry of Sylvia Plath.’ Respond to this statement, referring to the poetry of Sylvia Plath on your course.

Example of thesis statement (introduction): 

The poetry of Sylvia Plath was thoroughly enjoyable to read and analyse, due to Plath’s extensive use of personification, metaphors and imagery in the poems “Black Rook in Rainy Weather”, “Morning Song”, “Mirror”, “Pheasant”, “Elm”, and “Child”.

From this thesis statement we can see the following.

Who are we talking about here? Sylvia Plath

Did the student like her poetry? Yes.

What poems did the student like? “Black Rook in Rainy Weather”, “Morning Song”, “Mirror”, “Pheasant”, “Elm”, and “Child

What did the speaker like about her poetry? Personification, metaphors, and imagery

That’s a lot of information from one sentence! Do you see how it acts as a “roadmap” for the reader of your response? Now they know what to look for in your response.

Example of body statements

The extended metaphor present in “The Arrival of the Bee Box”, comparing the box to thoughts of depression, provides the poem with an emotional context. This has made the poem more enjoyable, as it allowed the reader to connect with it on an emotional level.

Do you see how the argument was presented as a fact? Instead of saying, “I think the extended metaphor….”; I stated that it did. This made my argument more convincing.

Example of a concluding statement:

The instances of personification, metaphors, and imagery in the aforementioned poems by Sylvia Plath made the poems emotive, which I found to be an enjoyable trait.

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