Wednesday, April 18, 2012

how to write a ten page paper.

how to write a perfect ten page paper, as told from the eyes of emily, our intrepid college blogger, whose life generally consists of cereal and awkward moments.

step one. open a microsoft word document and get ready.

so. i hauled my laptop to my carrel. i took a vintage picture of simba next to it with instagram, and of course, spent ten minutes finding the perfect new desktop background. although i love having matthew gray gubler smiling at me every time i use my computer, i could not help but feel resentment from my loving boyfriend. so i managed to find a small storm trooper that was willing to help build a battle station for food.

he didn't find the droids he was
looking for.
i opened my microsoft word, ready to prepare myself to write all about lolita. i saved the blank document, titled it LOOOOLEEEEETAAAAA, and then...

got on tumblr.

oh the things you can reblog! oh the things, the things, the things! and to mollify myself, just a little bit, i even checked the lolita tag.

i do not believe that it is okay that there is a lolita fashion line. which brings about one of my sources, who wrote a book called chasing lolita: how popular culture corrupted nabokov's little girl all over again.

step two. get out all the stuff you need to write your paper.

before i move onto this step, i should probably tell you exactly what i'm writing my paper about. for those of you who haven't read lolita, you should. it's about a french man named humbert humbert who is a pedophile, falls madly in love with his step daughter dolores haze, and he kidnaps her and they go on a road trip in which they engage in what we like to call, in this society, rape.

but i'm not joking, it's one of the greatest novels ever. go read it.

my thesis is as follows: through the one-sidedness of his narration, humbert humbert is two people, an artist and a monster, with the artist trying desperately to cover up that monstrosity that lurks within himself.  in a desperate attempt to destroy the monster part of himself, the artist humbert constructs the character of clare quilty, and ultimately murders him.


1. humbert narrates as two people.
2. clare quilty is not actually real.
3. even though in the novel he's presented as a real breathing person that humbert shoots like, eighty times. it's hilarious.

moving on. in gathering everything that i needed to write my paper, i printed off my annotated bibliography, because i needed all eight of my sources, not including the text. i wrote them on a sticky pad and crossed them off every time i used them. i printed off the shorter, more stupid paper that i'd written last year as a mere freshman in college on the same subject to reference. i printed off my presentation notes, because i talked about my thesis for twelve minutes to my class last week.

that is not my email.
i swiped this from google.
then i got on tumblr.

oh the things you can reblog! oh the things, things, things, things!

step three. write the paper.

for me to sufficiently write the paper, i need to disconnect my internet. with eight sources, this was going to be difficult, so what did i do?

yep, i used only the quotes that i put in my annotated bibliography. i put them in my bib for a reason. now i could use them.

the most painful part of the paper is the introduction. lolita is a good book, blah blah. humbert is an unreliable narrator, ahem ahem. oh, he's two people, and by the way, quilty isn't real. let's talk about what this guy says about unreliable narration, and then we're under way.

four hours later, with my hair significantly flatter and my dress not as cute as it was when i put it on, i had eight out of my ten pages. i wanted to cry and kick and scream. i had two pages left and i didn't know what to do with them.

so i went to sleep.

step four. finish the paper.

we can assume that by now, i've been on tumblr for hours and hours in between sentences. before i even THOUGHT about concluding my paper and figuring out how to finish it, i tumbled. and then i decided that listening to gramercy arms (which was wonderful), wasn't going to cut it.

i would appreciate being
this ripped.
P.I.M.P by 50 cent was gonna do the trick, mhm.

so, while listening to steel drums and 50 cent assert his pimpness upon my ears about a hundred times, i struggled to conclude my paper. then i printed off the little sucker and ran it over to SAC to have dr. aspinall look at it. he was giving an exam until four, so i got there at precisely 3:56 and took a seat awkwardly in the english bay.

he didn't come back. dr. chen alerted me that he was going to a senior thesis presentation.

don't get me wrong. that's really important and really cool. but i'm selfish and right then, i wanted him to look at my paper.

so i went to dinner and then remembered that i had an ed psych final and that i was really supposed to study for it. i remembered this at six. how i did on that final is an entirely different post.

step five. go consult your professor.

this morning, i got up bright and early (ha. yeah right.) and ran my paper over to dr. aspinall's office. his door was closed, which is a first. it's never closed, even when he's gone. i waited for a while, and was about to text my boyfriend when suddenly his door flew open, he zoomed out, paused and said, "oh hi emily" and then ran out of the room.


he came back and i tentatively asked if he could look at my paper. he ushered me inside, told me he had a lot of things to do but of course he'd read my paper, and then took it and immediately began scribbling all over my first page. i contented to look at all the cool shakespeare stuff he had in his office. i hate it when people read things that i've written while i'm around. i can't even have my boyfriend read my own blog when i'm in the room, it freaks me out.

the gist of what went down: my thesis wasn't strong enough (i gave you the strengthened version), i meandered around until page three, and after that, i was golden.

so. what was i supposed to do with the first three pages?

step six. revise the eff outta that paper.

instead of directly revising my paper, i went to the library, where a large and scary spider ran across my keyboard while i was tumbling. i did not scream, but pushed my chair away from my carrel, breathed very heavily, and spouted gibberish. after posting about this incident on various forms of social media and reblogging fun things from fun people, i went to lunch.

i then strengthened my thesis, added a little bit of tie-in stuff to hopefully make my first three pages relevant and passable, and then tried to make sure that it flowed and was grammatically fantastic. one can never do this on their own. as i type, my boyfriend is revising my paper.

step seven. turn that sucka in.

step seven, for me, will not occur until tomorrow morning. after jacob is finished revising, i'll look at his changes, decide if i like them, and employ them. (i just used employ. i am so sorry. i might still be in paper writing mode.)

then i'm going out with my RA staff to eat giant sundaes and i'm not going to give a care.

while printing off my ten page monstrosity (ha! i made a pun!) i ran into heidi. i told her all about my paper, and then noticed that she was printing off her 44 page thesis in french.

i no longer feel that i can viably complain about writing a ten page paper on a pedophile. i did, however, tell her to read lolita, since the pedophile in question is french, and often interjects in french, and expects us to understand exactly what he's saying. i am too lazy to find all the footnotes at the back of the novel.

remember the steps to writing your paper. when you write your paper, make sure that you do not get on tumblr. make sure that you use all of your required sources, because i'm still missing one, and at this point, i do not care. take time to eat, and remember, if your professor isn't there, just obsessively stalk them until you find them.

i leave you with barney stinson's steps on how to run a marathon.

1. start running.
2. there is no step two.

how to write a paper.

1. don't refer to this blog.
2. write.
3. there is no step three.

1 comment:

  1. Basically how it goes, and then with all the hard core students at alma you end up just feeling guilty, like you have done nothing at all even when you legitly did work XD. We have too many over achievers here.