Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Write a (not so) Killer Paper, College Style

Warning: This is not for the faint of heart. Not all can live up to the high standards here espoused. Read at your own risk.

1. Pick a paper you have known about all semester.
2. Pick a topic that has almost zero sources in English, preferably one where the only sources are in a language you have no hope of learning or finding a willing translator. Dead languages anyone?
I. Refuse to change your paper topic even after you realize that there is nothing in English for you to read.
3. Do not start anything on said paper until you have less than 24 hours until the due date. This ensures the proper flow of all creative (BS) juices.
4. Facebook: 'nuff said.
5. Bring a cross word or Sudoku puzzle in case you get stuck.
6. Use lots of "technical mumbo jumbo." Phrases such as: "Technically speaking," "in actual fact," and "quite frankly" will, quite frankly, leave your professor utterly and completely thrilled with you.
7. Search for big long words you couldn't define to save your life.
I. Making sure you know how to actually use them is just a fluffy extra... your professor will be inundated to see you proliferate
II. Spellings on such words are also a matter of prerogitive

8. Facebook: Change status multiple times, bewail your existence and curse life in general.
9. Add an extra space at the beginning of each sentence if the paper is on length, if it is word count add lots of "ands" "wells" and any other little words you can cram in. This also will so thrill your professor like to no end.
10. Make sure to schedule lots of other activities around said due date, like say, two competitions. This extra stress level will do wonders for your creativity.
11. Blog.
12. Facebook: Attempt to re-contact those who you haven't spoken to in over five years... not only will it provide awkward moments, but you have just squandered twenty more minutes. If you're a pansy feel free to just stalk these people. That's what facebook is for.
13. Elaborate, Elaborate, Elaborate. Any good sentence with a little help can miraculously become three.
14. If you are really skilled you'll schedule a massive exam for the next day.
15. Pick a topic that your professor is passionate about. Your heartfelt twenty-four hour analysis will really mean a lot to him or her.
16. NEVER SAVE. This encourages you to type faster. It is the Russian Roulette of paper writing.
17. Make sure that the bibliography requires an obscure citation form that you have never heard of and cannot possible accurately complete in a life time, let alone 24 hours.
18. Facebook once again, new profile picture maybe?
19. Make sure your printer is out of ink. This means you will get to rush to the library with the rest of the student body right before class and attempt to print your paper. This technique is highly recommended when the paper is due right when the bell rings.
I. This technique is even more effective when it is the middle of winter and you will have to negotiate through Siberian ice fields to get to the library and then to your class.
II. Especially if the library and class are on opposite ends of campus.
III. Or you just get stuck behind those really slow walking freshman...

20. Turn in your beautiful finalized paper. Feel free to pat yourself on the back. You survived the twenty-four hour paper dash. Now, go shower, eat, and sleep.

(You really don't think you get to shower eat and sleep... odds are good that because you spent an entire day devoted to your paper that you are now sufficiently behind in your other classes to force another cram session. So start back at one... you get to do this again... MU-A-HAHAHAHA)


  1. Nice Nicole. You are scaring me!

  2. Oh dear, I think I was a bad influence on you... You write papers like I did. :)
    Good luck with your competition tomorrow!! How did your one on Wed. go?

  3. Mom, Don't worry, this was a combination of multiple papers and other people's experiences. I haven't done everything here... (but now you see why Trent doesn't need to see this... he doesn't need encouragement.)

    Carrie, Wednesday went well, and hopefully Saturday will too.

  4. Trent said that he had already read it at school. I think he thinks that you have finally learned to write the way he does! Oh brother!

  5. Eeek, Nicole! That was wonderful! My favorite is probably number 16 - especially for LONG papers. And 7 is hilarious. I totally do the space thing in number 9 (*sheepish face*). Oh and 19 is absolutely essential for any college paper. Hehe.