Writing an essay can be extremely difficult, so here are five steps that may help you stop procrastinating like you have been for the last couple weeks.

1. Pick your topic

I know it can be hard to even begin when you don't actually have something to write about and even that's a little stressful. If there's an open prompt, pick a topic that you're interested in. That way it's easier to get down to writing it because you have the motivation to write something you like. If you have something specific you need to write about, try connecting your topic to a subject you're interested in. For example, in high school, I had to write a paper about The Great Gatsby and I was really interested in psychology, so I combined them to write about Tom's abusive tendencies and hypermasculinity.

2. Freewrite

Write everything you know about your topic. No filters and no judgement. It doesn't all have to make sense and it doesn't all have to connect to each other. This just allows you to get all of your information out of your head and onto paper (or tablet, depending on your method of writing). It's also pretty cathartic, so it can relieve some of the stress you've been feeling about writing the paper.

3. Filter your freewrite

After you're done freewrite for, cross out, cross out, cross out. This is the time to take out the unnecessary and gibberish you wrote in your freewrite. If it doesn't connect back to your original topic, take it out. This helps narrow your focus a little and also feels pretty cathartic, too.

4. Connect points into paragraphs

From your filtering, try and connect each of your points by similarities, which helps you make your paragraphs. Make sure you have at least three points per paragraph. If you don't have that many, either find a way to connect it to other points or take it out.

5. Write first sentences of paragraphs

Now that you know what your paragraphs consist of, write the first sentences of the paragraphs to summarize the connection between the points. This helps you make your introduction and conclusion because now you can briefly mention your paragraph points in them and write a specific thesis sentence.

Now go write that paper, you don't have any excuse now. Good luck!