Papers. Both the bane, and sometimes the bread & butter of us college students, writing papers is one of those things that no one likes. Yet it's something that we have to do whether we like it or not. One thing that I find many college students, including myself, tend to do is to procrastinate. And why shouldn't we? College is some of the best times that we will ever have in our lives, so why not enjoy it? Now, with that said, please don't be one of those idiots that forsakes all work for all fun, all the time. Why? Because they suck at life, and will never amount to anything.
|This will be you the morning after. Learn to accept it.|
With that said, I'm here to give you my tips on how to write any length paper in 8 hours or less. Why eight hours you say? Because when most of realize we have a paper due tomorrow, it's around 12 midnight and we start freaking out. I picked eight hours because that's enough time to do most anything provided you follow these tips, and also because 8 hours after 12 midnight is 8 am, the time when college classes begin. Even if you don't have an 8 am class/deadline for the paper, follow these tips should you ever find yourself staring at your computer until it spits out a 10 pager that you need for tomorrow.
- Map your essay out. Take 5 minutes, some scrap paper, and write down your intro, thesis, 3-5 main points, and conclusion in that order. Keep it short and to the point, this isn't the essay. Just a sentence or two will work for every part. Make sure your thesis sounds good by saying it out loud. Many a thesis has fallen short because it sounds stupid when you actually read it.
- Don't take energy pills, shots, drinks, or whatever. Trust me when I say those things are poison for you, because they are. Make some coffee or tea, or perhaps have some chocolate. It's been scientifically proven that your brain consumes a large amount of energy when writing or studying, and the sugars that give your brain that energy come from chocolate or candy. So have a cup of tea and a chocolate energy bar instead of a 44oz. Power Super Monster X-Fuel N-R-G, or whatever those stupid things are called.
- Don't write your paper in double space just yet. Leave it in single space. For some reason, perhaps it's a psychological thing, I write faster and better in single space. I once wrote 7 pages in 1 & 1/2 hours because I only used single space. Once you've written a few pages worth of single space, then double space it. The feeling you get is awesome, and you'll see that you've written a lot more than you might have thought.
- Devote 2 hours of this time to research. Sure, you can write 7 pages of anything, but unless you've got some general knowledge about what you're writing about, your paper will be 7 pages of crap. Start with the Wikipedia page on your subject. This will give you an overview of what you need to know should you know absolutely nothing about your subject. Need sources? Check the References section at the bottom of the page. Then, move on to detailed research. Use Google Scholar and your school's online databases to find some article that are hopefully remotely about your subject. If you're not a freshman and you can't use or can't find either of these, just drop out of college. Just quit while you're ahead and you'll save yourself the headache of sucking at school.
- Don't do citations yourself, or use Easybib. Easybib is a rip. It's good if you need a quick MLA citation, but you'll have to pay if you need anything else. Use Citation Machine instead. This site is free, and all you have to do is enter the info into the blanks, and poof! Instant citation in the format you need, for free! It even gives you the in-text citation. Citations you say? More like yawning I say.
- Listen to calm music, and just write. Throw on some headphones, pop in the Beethoven, and get typing. Look at it this way, as soon as you start writing, that's chipping away at your page length no matter what. Follow your essay map, and try to write with your subject or essay question in mind. Try not to just write whatever comes to mind, instead, take a second and think "How does this relate to what my problem or question is?" Trust me, it'll make your paper better so you don't have to revise as much later, which is quite the blessing to someone writing an 8 pager at 4 a.m.
- Revise it, dang it! Congratulations, you've just written your essay! Are you finished? No. Go back through your paper and check for any spelling or grammar mistakes, stupid sentences, or crappy supporting arguments. Take 20 minutes people. It's not that much work, I mean you've already written the thing, so what's 20 more minutes to make it an A- paper instead of a B+?