For some reason, I seem to have a lot of friends who are still in college (because really 4 years is only a suggestion) or who are in grad school complaining about writing papers in the last week. This is kind of odd to me because I figured most classes would be out of session right now, but apparently I am wrong. It happens…a lot.
Unrelated to the paper griping, I have also seen a lot of links to articles about how to increase your productivity and the like recently. So I started to think.
I wrote papers for bunch of years. Got pretty good at it too. I should share my super effective She laughs too easily & cries too hard…Paper Writing Method (patent not-so-pending) with all the folks who are mysteriously writing late May papers.
You can thank me later.
Step 1: When the paper is assigned choose to address the topic in one of two ways. Either pick an approach in which you really have no interest whatsoever or pick one that is so personally relevant that it is distracting.
Step 2: No matter which option you chose in the previous step procrastinate writing the paper until at least 48 hours before it is due. If you went with option two you can make a few vain attempts at working on research prior to this but you should rapidly devolve into wet sniffles. (Bonus points if you cry on your research and it becomes illegible.)
Step 3: Read through your research and highlight all the points you think are important. At this point there should be at least 2 articles that you need to use but in which you have found nothing to highlight. Close your eyes, turn to a page and highlight three or four lines. It makes you sound complex and advanced if you incorporate points that have no obvious connection to what you are saying.
Step 4: Have a go at writing but be sure that you make your point in no more than 75% of the number of pages required. Your construction should be tight and logical so as to make expanding on your points to increase page length seem awkward.
At this point it should be late into the night on the evening before the paper is due.
Step 5: Pour over your research looking for some secret additional sections to add while consuming no less than 2 full pots of coffee. The caffeine high will expand you idea of what constitutes a valid, "additional section".
Step 6: Frantically throw in the extra pages you need, mostly from caffeine and sleep deprivation tainted memory. Citations should be questionable at best. It is preferable not to proofread these additions. Your writing should be completed with 15 minutes of your paper being due. For best results try completing the paper on public transportation on the way to class.
Step 7: Turn the paper in and pretend the whole sorded thing never happened.
…and that, my friends, is how you get a graduate degree.