Write Fast and Furious With This Method

Make time your friend and watch your word count soar.


Isabella Lahoue

2 years ago | 2 min read

In high school, I took the course AP English Language and Composition, where the goal was to formulate essays quickly and efficiently. Our main assignments were rigid, timed essays, each with the same criteria:

  • follow the prompt in a 5-paragraph essay (about 700 words)
  • complete the essay in 40 minutes
  • write on paper with a dark ink pen
  • include a thesis, cite sources, use examples, and have easy flow between paragraphs

Although this method was intimidating at first, I found that under the time constraint and the 5-paragraph quota, I not only finished but often ended up with an essay more insightful than I could’ve written in a week.

When the exam rolled around, I was fully confident in the task of writing three five-paragraph essays in 2 hours (about 2000 words in two hours).

How to Unlock the 5-Paragraph Essay to Improve Your Writing

Why Beginnings, Middles, and Ends Still Matter in Writing

In applying this method to your writing routine, there is a customizable approach. The rigid, five-paragraph-only structure doesn’t work most of the time, but the idea is the same.

You can utilize the Pomodoro technique that so many writers swear by — write for 25 minutes, break for 5, and repeat. You can set the timer for as long as it takes you to complete a draft.

Don’t try to edit much — just write furiously.

But write as though the product you have you’d be confident publishing. That was the premise of the AP test — one-shot essay writing.

This way, you shouldn’t have to spend more than 5 minutes editing. My approach is to turn it out as well as I can and then plug it into Grammarly for a few minutes of correction.

For writing stories, you’d begin with your idea, then create a rough outline of what the piece will say. After that, all you can do is write.

In structuring your piece, we had the standard, 5 paragraph essay. For you, that could mean creating a template for each post that includes

  • Title and subtitle
  • Opening hook and introduction leading up to the thesis
  • Thesis (What is the post about, in one sentence? What will it show the reader?)
  • Evidence (sources, quotes, etc.)
  • Conclusion (wrap it up with final insights or a quote)

Some other givens in the process that can be applied to your routine:

  • Isolate yourself from people, noise, or distractions
  • Use a clock or watch and not a device to keep track of time
  • Use the same tools every time; if you’re using paper, the same notebook and writing tool. If you’re using a laptop or tablet, turn off all other notifications and hide all other pages. Your main focus should be the story.
  • Before you start, decide on your “prompt”. What topic will you be exploring?
  • Take the first few minutes of your time to map out the outline and then get to writing. Don’t stop until you’re finished.
This article was originally published on medium.


Created by

Isabella Lahoue







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