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Remember Throw Momma from the Train? That movie from the 80s with Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito? You can admit it. We're all friends here.

Procrastination turns into cheating

You’re sitting there with a massive 1,500 word essay due tomorrow and you’re probably feeling confused, annoyed, overwhelmed or even anxious. You do everything you can to prepare yourself to write what will be an epic essay (well, at least you hope so!).

  • Coffee? Check.
  • Some YouTube video with music that’s good for focus? Check.
  • A quiet spot in the library on campus? Check.
  • Phone on silent? Check. 

Okay, let's do this! Good thing you've done all your research already (or have you?), and you have copious summaries on the subject matter and bookmarked web pages for reference.

Forty-five minutes later you’ve got one, maybe two, lines. And then back to feeling frustrated with thoughts bouncing back and forth between, "Why didn’t I start this earlier?” and "Okay, I can do this, just need to pull an 'all nighter'”...

When I was an undergraduate, submitting an essay meant just that: printing out an essay, making sure my name was on it and handing it in to a professor or teaching assistant. On my first day as a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto, though, I was in for a surprise. The professor for this course wanted something more than just the essay. 

 

Yes, the idea of writing an essay sounds dull and boring to many people (and sometimes even yours truly) but if you master the skills needed to write a truly great essay, such as analysing data and information, persuasion, and expressing yourself concisely, while at school they’ll serve you for a lifetime. So bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need a refresher!

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