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Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Write a Paper

How to Write a Paper
Subtitle: I am your Spanish teacher, your SPANISH teacher, why am I showing you this?!!?
Step 1: Write a paper.  A really bad paper.  Add in lot of quotes and other things from that sample packet the librarian gave you that really taught you nothing other than plagiarism is akin to selling your soul to Lucifer or drowning a puppy. Use ‘I’ a lot in your paper and tell your audience about every opinion you have on the topic in the first person with no support. Proudly turn it in.  
Step 2: Get paper back.  Your teacher/instructor/professor has most likely bled all over it, unless you go to one of those stupid schools where everyone gets a trophy and red pens are not allowed because they might hurt your little feelings.  In which case, before moving onto step three please get a red pen out, break it in half and pour over your paper.  And suck it up!
Step 3:  At this point in time you are ready to listen.  First, you need to understand what a paper is.  A paper is an argument.  You’ve had one of those, haven’t you? When your husband left the trash in kitchen and the cat tore it open? When your best friend looked at your man? (Which this should not bother you - please see my entry on man-neediness) When that moron that had been tailgating you for miles finally rammed into your bumper and is now acting like you stopped and got hit on purpose? That is what a paper is a fight, just one with smart words and no swearing.  Unless you are clever, then you can work those bad boys in all over the place.  But that takes mad skills. You are not there yet my young Padawan.  
Step 4: Figure out what you are going to write about.  Make it provocative. Make it risk- kay.  You gotta get your blood boiling to write well. You will notice that my funnier blogs are when something drives me bat-crap crazy or is something I am passionate about (Like my love for Michael Shanks - you didn’t think I’d get him in this one, did you? Well, that will teach you to underestimate my true obsessive nature.).  This may not help you in all essays, but try.  Because even ‘Compare and Contrast the Hundred Years War to the War of the Roses” can be interesting if you keep in mind that the royal families of France and England alone did more disgusting crap than every soap that has ever aired on TV. 
Step 5: Research. Not on Wikipedia.  Do you know WHY you do not research on Wikipedia? Because Wikipedia is what smart people do when they are drunk. I am not kidding; nerds get blitzed in small groups watching “Game of Thrones” and change Wikipedia.  I know this to be FACT.  You think I am kidding? Try it sometime. But if you are not nerdy, they catch on pretty fast, so you must be clever and master writing, much in the way you did to include swear words in your paper, to make those changes stick.  (My hubby just asked “Wikipedia has administrators?” to which I replied, “Yes honey, Wikipedia has an entire crew of readers that try to protect lazy high school students from drunk nerds.” ) 
Step 6: Write.  Now, this can be hard, so I will put it in everyday terms.  Please excuse the course language, but as they say, that’s how dem kids speak.  
Introduction: SCARY FACT OR QUOTE.  That’s scary huh? Well, bee-achesz, if you don’t do X,Y, Z shiznit’s about to get real scary.  (That was your thesis. A thesis says here are 2-5 reasons I am going to win this argument buttface, here they come) 
Paragraph One: I am right about X.  Here is some crap that some smart people said that agree with me.  See, I am right.  You are stupid.  Now I am going to talk about thing number two. And not Dr. Seuss thing number two.  
Paragraph Two: Y is also true. I am a genius.  And remember this guy from paragraph 1, yeah him? also a genius? On page (insert page ## here) he agreed with me too. In YO face! You think that’s all I got? Buckle up bitchez....
Paragraph Three: And as if you did not think I was the next coming of Christ, here is Z.  Yes!! Z!!! And because of this book and that book and this scholarly journal.  That’s right cuz, I whupped out the scholarly journal on you!! Do you know what those are? I thought not! And they more than PROVE I’ve got this. 
Conclusion: So, basically, if you ain’t figured it out by now, I’m right. I mean really if X,Y and Z didn’t do it for you, well, you’re hopeless.  So, here’s another quote or something that since you didn’t understand the rest of the reason that I am a god that you won’t understand but it makes me sound all smart like.  Oh yeah, and the end.  
See, not so bad right? 
Step 7: Revise.  Please, get a friend that is smarter than you to do this. Or at least better educated/knowledgeable of current rules regarding paper writing. We all have those people in our lives that, well, you know, just aren’t.  Don’t let them see your paper. They may make comments like “Well, you sounded like you didn’t feel it,” or, better yet, “I didn’t see your opinion in there, you know ‘I’ think.”  Little do these people know that there is a secret little committee of dwarves that live deep underneath the bowels of Harvard University that determine what is correct in paper writing today.  These dwarves are thousands of years old and probably whupped out some clausal errors on Moses.  They like to change the rules.  What your mom wrote for a paper in school in her day will not cut it, because as soon as those dwarves get bored or someone smuggles them in a bag of Skittles, BOOM! they change all of these rules! FOR NO GOOD REASON! Make sure your proof reader knows these rules and/or has an established relationship with said dwarves.  
Step 8:  Turn that bad boy in.  Yeah, waltz yourself right up to the desk (even do this virtually if you are turning in the paper online, walk about 5 feet away and sashay your self over to the computer and dramatically click submit.) 
Step 9: Pray, meditate, contemplate, send positive vibes or whatever you do to ask a higher power to help you out.  Paper writing is subjective and sometimes the mood of your teacher can determine your grade.  You may have written the greatest masterpiece of all time but your prof just got dumped by his live in girlfriend and you get an F (True story people - happened to me - took a LOT of butt kissing to salvage that one). So, if you have followed all of my steps above, you should be ok, in theory, Provided no one as slipped any dwarves sugary treats.  In that case, dude, you’re on your own...
Step 10: Get paper back.  Earn an A.  Graduate with honors. Remember that quirky little blogger that helped get you there. Because she had two kids to put through college.  And became a teacher.  You know where this is leading, hopefully :-) 

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