How to write a paper like a college student

There’s lots of advice about being a productive student.  Most of it seems pretty unrealistic.  While bits of advice like planning ahead or not playing Mario Kart until 5:30 in the morning sounds good in theory, they are pretty unrealistic expectations.  Therefore, I give you my guide to writing a paper like a college student.

Lot’s of people say to work ahead.  I disagree.  You will not be productive without any sense of fear, panic, or nausea.  When the time is just right, begin your warm up process.  Stare blankly at your computer for 30 minutes or so.  Find at least five friends and complain about the paper to them.  Post on Facebook how much you hate the paper.  Read the newspaper.  Alright, you’ve put it off for long enough; it is time to begin your paper.

Look at the outline…complain some more…then draw pictures all over your outline paper.  Eat some chips.  Listen to a song.  Open Microsoft Word.  Stare at your computer.   Write a sentence.  Feel accomplished and wonderful.  You are an incredible and beautiful person who can take on anything in the world.  You are so excited that you buy a waffle iron on eBay.  Check your Facebook and e-mail.  Watch some YouTube clips.  Eat more chips.  Complain to friends.

OK, you have now finished the first important steps, but the time is getting late.  You have no idea what to write, so the obvious solution is just to get a rough draft written.  Write it as quickly as possible.  You feel accomplished yet again.  It is time to buy another item from eBay, start a blog, and subscribe to a magazine.  You now are almost done, so it is time to play just 10 minutes (2 hours) of Donkey Kong.

Now things are just getting ridiculous, so it’s time that you wrap up the paper. Look at it again.  You will realize it’s a completely incoherent stream of consciousness, nothing but nonsensical ramblings.  Buckle down and edit the paper until it is passable.  You are too tired to feel good about yourself.

Go to bed at an ungodly hour.

Congratulations!  You just finished your college paper!  The last important step is to complain to Facebook and all your friends about how you were working on your paper all night!  Now vow to start early next time (without really meaning it).

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Written by Jacob Landis-Eigsti

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