Thesis writing for the intellectually inadequate

The Miscellany News.

Are you a starry-eyed freshperson? Are you overwhelmed with the possibilities of your Vassar career, at the thought of eating Deece food for three more years and sleeping in the library and painting your nails black? And what about a thesis? Vassarites flee theses left and right, trying desperately to avoid the necessity of writing yet another enormous paper, and yet why? The thesis doesn’t have to be so scary! If you just approach the project right, you can complete it easily enough—and you might even have fun doing it! (Note that I said “might.”)

It’s true: Not every major requires a proper thesis. You could go into the arts, becoming one of the legion of Vassar drama majors who go on to work in a windowless office at a mortgage firm. You could go into biology or chemistry, spending hours a day in an endless quest to be one of the 30 people listed on a PubMed paper that will only ever be cited twice. Or you could even go into computer science and make some actual money! The possibilities are limitless. But the thesis is no reason to rule out social science! History, Anthropology, Geography—promising majors, all, especially if you’d like to become an underpaid adjunct professor at the University of Southern North Dakota. So read on for my Hot Thesis Tips!

Tip Number One: Start early! One big mistake many Vassar students make with their theses is that they start them too late—for example, on the night before they are due. This is understandable, as it is much less appealing to spend hours organizing citations than it is to spend that same amount of time hooking up with broccoli-haired Vassar men in filthy Joss doubles. But the earlier you get started, the less you’ll have to crunch at the end. A thesis in the History Department is required to be around 10,000 words, so my advice is to have written, at the bare minimum, 8,000 of those words by the time you graduate elementary school. Preparation never hurts!

Tip Number Two: Research it right! Of course, it wouldn’t matter if you started your thesis on your first birthday if you didn’t have a solid basis of research to write from. Luckily, Vassar has a wide variety of research resources available for you: thesis advisors, databases, helpful librarians and many more. So what you should do is ignore all of these resources and instead spend your time simply Googling dozens of different formulations of your research question. Just cite whatever comes up first, and you’re golden!

Tip Number Three: Write like a pro! I cranked out another sterling article on the subject of paper-writing last year, so if you’re interested, I’d recommend checking it out on the Misc’s website. But if you’re pressed for time, my main Writing Tip is: pray. Simply by invoking the divine power of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you can surely ace your paper, as well as line up a professorship in the field of Religious Studies. If you’re not the praying type, there’s still hope for you. When I have to turn out a paper quickly, the number one thing I always do, the thing which always gets me the A grade I crave, the hidden “lifehack” that lets me finish an academic-journal-level work in less than fifteen minutes flat, is—

Oh, would you look at that! My editor is telling me that I’m out of space. So you’ll all just have to tune in next time for more Thesis Tips, or else whatever other BS I decide to chuck into this column. But if you only take one thing away from this column, let it be this: Your thesis will never be better than mine, you nerds! I’ve kept all the REAL tips to myself! Bahahahahahaha!

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