Papers the write way: Getting an A from your grouchy professor

Midterms will soon be upon us, and for us humanities majors (or, if you prefer, future Subway sandwich artists), that means paper-writing time! Writing papers can be stressful. You have to meticulously research your chosen topic, then synthesize that research into just a few finely-crafted pages. Then, the night before it’s due, you have to throw out all that hard work and piece together something embarrassingly awful after you realize you misread the essay question. Of course, brain-melting stress is a classic part of the college experience, but what if I told you that you could avoid the worst of your blunders by just following my handy paper-writing tips?

Well, if I did tell you that, it would be a bald-faced lie. But I still believe that I might be able to help you out, mainly because you seem to be desperate enough for writing advice that you’re trying to get it from the funny pages. And it’s not like I have no writing experience, either. After all, these columns require me to spend a few hundred words spouting utter baseless nonsense, which is more or less what goes into the introduction and conclusion of a standard college paper. So, without further ado, let’s find out if you’ve got the “write” stuff to get an A! Ha ha ha! Ah hah hah. Agh…

The most important part of writing an A-plus, five-star, professor-swooning essay is: choosing the right topic. Often, it seems as though a topic is already chosen for you, but fun fact: going from the prompt, exactly as written, is a sure-fire route to the land of ho-hum, B-plus papers, like all of the other ones you’ve turned in throughout your short, sad little life. Instead, try to “freestyle” a little bit! Supposed to be writing about crime in New York City? What the professor is actually looking for is probably an in-depth analysis of obscure “Spider-Man villains, including Typeface, the Thumper and Big Wheel. Does the prompt direct you to analyze love and social status in the works of Jane Austen? The professor probably really wants a 10,000-plus word erotic fanfiction entitled “Sense and Sensuality.” Read between the lines, people!

Once you’ve selected your topic, you’ll likely have to do some kind of research. As we all know, there’s only one place to do that: Wikipedia. The problem is, Wikipedia is not supposed to appear in your bibliography. You could simply not cite it, instead claiming in the footnotes that the information is “common knowledge” or was “revealed in a dream,” but that would be plagiarism. As we all know, plagiarism is the ultimate crime, punishable by thumbscrews and summary revocation of Deece “privileges” for the rest of the semester. Instead, simply find one of the many sites out there that rip off huge chunks of Wikipedia, then cite that instead—you can’t be put on academic probation just for being lazy!

Lastly, you’ll need to write your paper, and only the Lord can help you with that.

With these handy tips, you’re sure to clinch the A-plus of your dreams on any paper you choose! Even the most cantankerous, uncompromising professor will be forced to admit your literary superiority and exempt you from writing papers for the rest of your natural life. And if not? If, heaven forbid, you don’t receive the high grade you desire? Well, you’ll have the friends you made along the way. Plus, you might have nailed down a literary career—I’m sure any publisher of quality would be interested in “Fifty Shades of Darcy.”

 

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