An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
Some students react to the time pressure of essay exams by scribbling down their introduction as soon as they`ve read the question and figuring out their points as they go. While it might seem counter-intuitive, taking five or ten minutes before you start writing in order to draw up a plan will be an enormous time saver.
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?
To give your essay a clear structure, it is important to organize it into paragraphs. Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you`re going to say it.
Consider practicing writing under time pressure. You`ve probably written dozens of essays before–the only thing that sets a timed essay apart is that it`s timed. Students often struggle to complete the full essay within the time constraints, particularly if they have to write longhand when they`re accustomed to working on the computer.