Skip to content

The Emotional Toll of Essay Writing on Students and Ways to Cope

As students, essay writing is an essential part of academic work that requires critical thinking and attention to detail. However, essay writing can also be a source of anxiety and stress for students—especially when it comes to meeting deadlines and achieving high grades. In this article, we explore the emotional toll of essay writing on students and the various strategies they can use to stay resilient and cope with the pressure.

Sources of Stress When Writing Essays

Essay writing is a complex task that involves different stages, including brainstorming, researching, outlining, writing the draft, editing, and proofreading. Students may encounter several sources of stress during each of these stages. Here are some of them:

Time Management

One of the most significant sources of stress for students when writing essays is time management. Students need to balance writing essays with other academic assignments and their personal life. Some students may procrastinate and struggle to meet the deadline, which can cause significant stress.

See also  How "Single Stories" Limit Our Understanding of the World

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can also cause significant stress for students. It is a condition where students find themselves unable to write. Writer’s block can occur due to different reasons, such as lack of motivation, fear of failure, or perfectionism.

Pressure to Perform Well

Another source of stress is the pressure to perform well. Students want to achieve high grades in their essays and impress their professors. However, this desire can become overwhelming and cause significant stress when they perceive that they are not meeting expectations.

Physical and Mental Symptoms of Essay Writing Stress

Essay writing stress can manifest as physical and mental symptoms that can affect a student’s overall well-being. Here are some of them:


Anxiety is a common symptom associated with essay writing stress. Students can experience anxiety due to various reasons, such as time pressure, perfectionism, and fear of failure. Anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms, such as sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and trembling.

Lack of Sleep

Essay writing stress can also cause students to experience insomnia or other sleep disturbances. Lack of sleep can lead to several health problems, such as fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.


Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. Essay writing stress can cause students to become burnout, which can affect their ability to perform well academically and socially.

Coping with Essay Writing Stress

Fortunately, there are ways that students can cope with the stress of essay writing. Here are some useful strategies:

Break Up the Writing Task into Smaller Parts

Breaking up essay writing into smaller, manageable parts can help students manage their time and prevent procrastination. Students can section their essay by breaking the research, outlining, drafting, and proofreading into smaller, manageable parts.

See also  Standardized Testing: A Comprehensive Look at its Pros and Cons

Take Breaks

Taking breaks during essay writing is another helpful strategy to manage stress. Students can take a brisk walk, listen to music, or take a power nap.

Seek Support from Friends, Family, or Academic Services

Students can seek help from their friends, family, or academic services to cope with essay writing stress. Peer groups, academic coaches, and university writing centres can offer valuable support and guidance during the essay writing process.

Mindfulness-Based Practices

Practices such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can help students cultivate a sense of calm and focus while writing essays. Mindfulness-based practices can help students manage their anxiety, improve their mood, and improve their overall well-being.

Seeking professional help

When essay writing stress becomes too overwhelming, students can seek professional help from therapists, counselors, or academic coaches. These professionals can help students manage their stress effectively and provide them with the tools needed to succeed in their academic work.

Key Takeaways

  • Essay writing can cause significant stress for students, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines and achieving high grades.
  • Some sources of essay writing stress include time management, writer’s block, and pressure to perform well.
  • Essay writing stress can manifest as physical and mental symptoms such as anxiety, lack of sleep, and burnout.
  • Students can cope with essay writing stress by breaking up the writing task into smaller parts, taking breaks, seeking support, practicing mindfulness, and seeking professional help.


Essay writing stress can take a significant emotional and mental toll on students. However, by understanding the sources of stress and implementing effective strategies, students can learn to manage their stress levels and succeed in their academic work. Ultimately, students must prioritize their well-being and understand that stress is a normal part of the essay writing process.

See also  The Complex Character of Richard Cory in Edwin Arlington Robinson's Poem


What can students do to manage their writer’s block?

To manage writer’s block, students can take a break, switch to a different task, or try free-writing to get their ideas flowing.

How can students manage their time when writing essays?

Students can manage their time effectively by breaking up the writing task into smaller parts, creating a schedule, and avoiding procrastination.

What are some physical symptoms associated with essay writing stress?

Anxiety, lack of sleep, and burnout are some of the physical symptoms associated with essay writing stress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *