It is important to make a plan before starting to write an essay, even if it seems to be rather time-consuming. In the end, though, it could actually save you time, as you will know what your argument is and the points that you need to make in your essay, so that you won’t be struggling to reach the word limit or rambling on without addressing the question. If you have an essay plan it makes it easier for you to argue your case in a coherent way, which means when you come to proofreading your essay you hopefully won’t have to make very many alterations.
However, you don’t necessarily think about how much easier it is to write an essay when you have a plan if time is running out. Procrastination can be a problem when you’re a student as you tend to be very good at making excuses to avoid doing work and looking for something to do that isn’t your essay! You still have to write your essay at some point if you intend to pass your course, though, and so you may as well get on with it. The trouble is if you’ve left your essay until the last minute you might jump straight in without really thinking about what you intend to write.
When you don’t have an essay plan you don’t know which authors to quote or which sources are of most use because you haven’t taken the time to sort through your notes or do some extra reading, which makes it much more difficult to write an essay. Usually, it is the word limit that you have in your head the whole time you’re typing, so that you simply end up repeating the same point in a multitude of ways to increase the number of words you’ve written. This makes you think that you’re making rapid progress, but you soon come to regret it when you actually read what you’ve written, if you even bother to.
If you’ve left your essay to the last minute and haven’t bothered to make a plan you probably aren’t the most conscientious of students, anyway, and so perhaps you don’t really care about your grades. However, you probably don’t want to be thrown off your course and so you have to make an effort to complete the work you’ve been set. You might think that you can finish an essay quicker if you just ‘wing it’, but this isn’t always the case, especially if the work you produce is of poor quality and you’re forced to do it again. Thus, it may be worth taking a little bit of time to plan your essay.