Give yourself a pep talk, and keep the end goal in mind: you’re going to do a great job and impress your teacher.
Perhaps surprisingly, the introduction and conclusion of an essay are often the hardest bits to write. By the time you’ve written the body of the essay, the task of writing the introduction and a summarising conclusion should be much easier, as you’ll already have spent plenty of time on your argument and you’ll be very familiar with it.
If you’re required to add references and a bibliography to your essay, do these as you go along to save time.
If it helps, underline key instructional words in the title, such as “compare” or “analyse”.
This forces your mind to focus on the right kind of task, so you write the essay with this in mind.
Before you start writing, it’s crucial to get yourself into the right mindset.
You may be experiencing feelings of panic, feeling as though you don’t have enough time and you can’t do it. To be successful, however, you will need to banish these negative feelings.
This is particularly hazardous when you’re under pressure, because your brain has a tendency to see what it wants to see; it may tell you that the title is asking a question that you want to answer, while the reality might be subtly but crucially different.
So, start by reading the question very carefully and ensuring you’ve completely understood what it’s asking you to do.
Once you’ve done this, organise the notes into a sensible structure by dragging and dropping paragraphs into an order you think works. You now have the outline of your essay in note form.
You can now turn your notes into an essay by rewriting them into academic prose, complete with ‘filler’ sentences that glue it all together and help build your argument.