Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
Decide on your thesis, the topic of each paragraph, and the arguments which you intend to cover, then jot down some quick point-form notes. This process won`t take long, and, once you complete it, all that`s left will be to expand those notes into a well-organized essay.
For this reason, it can be helpful to simulate the conditions of a timed exam before the actual day: pick a practice question, find some lined paper, set a stopwatch, and see how you do!
Start planning if you can. Although the situation described above sometimes occurs, it`s also very common for professors to give their students a fairly detailed idea of what an essay question will involve in advance of the test day.
In the end, then, one thing is clear: mistakes do far more to help us learn and improve than successes. As examples from both science and everyday experience can attest, if we treat each mistake not as a misstep but as a learning experience the possibilities for self-improvement are limitless.
Perfecting paragraphs is a time-consuming process, and, if you spend too much time editing before the essay is finished, you might have to rush through the last few sections or leave them out entirely. For this reason, it`s best to focus on producing a complete first draft before you worry about edits and revisions.