University Writing Center Blog

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Mahoney

by Erin Gilpatrick and James White, Student Consultants, University Writing Center

We all know this happens: the end of the semester and you are overwhelmed with numerous projects that could’ve been done weeks ago. The sorrows of procrastination. As you are frantically trying to finish those writing projects due in the final days of the semester, here are some tips and tricks on how to finish strong, coming from two fellow students who have been in your shoes.

1. Prioritize: Determine which assignments are due first, as well as which ones will take you longer to complete. For writing assignments, you should probably start those first, as they take a lot of organization and revision.

2. Organize: Once you’ve started, you must organize your time efficiently in order to finish things on time. For example, make sure you allot more time for larger writing assignments versus shorter essays. Also, use this step to “organize” your thoughts. You may already have your topics picked out for your essays. This is when you’re going to figure out how you want to set your essays up.

3. Ask For Help: If you feel that even after you prioritize and organize that you still need some help, get it. Several on-campus facilities are very helpful this time of year. Especially here at the Writing Center, we aid students at any point during the writing process. However, you need to make sure you give yourself enough time, as these resources are quickly filling up. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

4. Pace Yourself: Don’t try to take on too much at any one time. You know your limits. Don’t try to exceed them or you might crash and burn. Take it one step at a time. While writing a paper, write chunks of it at a time, take a break, and come back to it. A few minutes apart from your assignment helps bring a new outlook to it. Or, if it floats your boat, use breaks as incentive. While you work, try to avoid any distractions and reward yourself. For example, after writing your introduction and a body paragraph or two, take a break and visit Facebook.

5. Keep Calm: Even if you think it’s going to be impossible to finish everything, keep calm. Everything will work out in the end. If you still feel frazzled, don’t be afraid to contact your professor for help. They understand that you have multiple projects to finish in these last couple of days and may be willing to work with you.

The end is near. Don’t let yourself be bogged down by all of your assignments. As long as you utilize the above tips, these last few days will be more manageable, less scary, and more enjoyable, especially since the weather is warming up (finally!).