A new paper assignment is coming up. Are you dreading it?
Don’t. The truth is writing an academic paper is much easier than it seems – especially if your goal is a horrible, terrible, awful paper your professor will see in their nightmares for many years to come. Want to come up with a paper that is a sure candidate for an ‘F’? Just follow these 5 simple rules.
1) Choose a commonly used topic, even if it bores you to death.
Choosing a topic to write about is your first step on the way. Most likely, you will be given a list of topics by your professor, so all you need to do is select one of them. The rule of thumb is to pick a topic that has already been covered a bazillion times: that will give you more sources to rely on. Never mind if the topic sounds incredibly boring, or you don’t even fully understand it: academic papers are not about fun, and who said you need to understand what you are talking about?
2) Wait for inspiration to work on your research.
Once you have a topic in mind, it’s time to start gathering resource materials. Unless, maybe it’s not? Research is a complicated and time-consuming process, and you can’t start it just like that. You will need to accumulate a certain amount of energy and inspiration to start searching for sources, so take your time. The due date is still long ahead.
3) Start writing the night before.
If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done. This could easily be a student’s motto, and you know you have been living by it since your freshman year. So why change the habit and start writing the paper early? 8-10 hours of the night before are perfectly enough to write a paper of any scope.
4) Don’t plan the outline. Just let your thoughts flow.
Considering the fact that you need to hand in the paper in 8 hours, you don’t want to waste time crafting an outline for it. In addition, this may interfere with the free flow of your thoughts and make your writing less natural. Instead, start with what you have read about the topic, and just go from there.
5) Don’t revise. Revisions will kill the creative flow of your paper.
The dawn is here and, finally, your 15 pages are ready. Of course, it’s a common rule that papers should be revised and proofread before you hand them in. However, when you start proofreading, you might change your mind about some of your arguments and the way you presented them. Given that you don’t have time for re-writing these arguments, it’s better to avoid the frustration. Plus, the more you revise and edit your paper, the more you kill its original creative flow.
As you can see, writing terrible academic papers is so much easier than writing good ones. Which is your way to go?