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I am going to make up three sentences below.

(1) Three weeks ago, I was writing a short essay for five days.

(2) John was scoring a lot of goals for many years.

(3) During Tim's one-week stay in my home, I was working on my project for five days.

I am using the past continuous tense because the action mentioned in each sentence happened over a period of time. Does this tense work in my examples?

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One sentence suffers from clarity issues, while each of them could be cleaned up to sound more natural, as well as for readability.

Regarding your first sentence:

  • Three weeks ago, I was writing a short essay for five days.

This is essentially clear. There's not much else it could mean beyond there being a point in the recent past during which you spent a five-day period of time working on an essay.

Written more naturally, it would be:

Three weeks ago, I spent five days writing a short essay.

Or:

Three weeks ago, it took me five days to write a short essay.

As for sentence number two:

  • John was scoring a lot of goals for many years.

This one needs some clarity. Are you trying to say that John was a big goal-scorer before, but now things are different? Are you saying John scored a lot of goals until something happened to change that? It's not obvious what the sentence is trying to say, but here are some options for a rewrite:

For many years, John scored a lot of goals.

Or:

For many years, John had been scoring a lot of goals—until...

Or:

John had scored many goals over the years.

Without context, though, it's impossible to determine which best communicates your intent.

And then, sentence number three:

  • During Tim's one-week stay in my home, I was working on my project for five days.

Again, this one's pretty clear, but awkwardly worded, which impedes its effectiveness.

A different option:

During Tim's one-week stay in my home, I spent five days working on my project.

Or:

The week Tim stayed with me, I spent five days working on my project.

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