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Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Friday: Green living.

05 May 2011

How to Write Four Essays.

Step 1: Read the assignment prompts early in the semester and resolve to get started early this time.
Step 2: Lose the assignment sheets 10 minutes later.
Step 3: Forget about the assignments for several weeks.
Step 4: Realise that the essays are all due in a week.
Step 5: Panic.
Step 6: Begin carrying a stack of research materials with you everywhere you go. Read while eating, while sitting around, and in the loo.
Step 7: Don't tell anyone about reading in the loo.
Step 8: Do the fun paper first.
Step 9: Decide to leave the hardest paper until last.
Step 10: Flip a coin to decide the order of the next two papers. Finish the second one.
Step 11: Finish the third paper. Forget to save it.
Step 12: Finally start on the hard paper. Realise it wasn't as hard as you thought it would be. Feel silly.
Step 13: Finish the hard paper. Celebrate by dancing round the living room.
Step 14: Realise that paper #3 is lost to you.
Step 15 (Optional, depending on time pressures): Throw an adult temper tantrum.
Step 16: Summon the muse to rewrite paper #3.
Step 17: Realise the muse, thinking that she was finished, has already departed for the muse equivalent of a week in Malibu.
Step 18: Rewrite paper #3, despairing that it is not as good as it was last time.
Step 19: Turn in all four papers. Start interviewing new muses.
Step 20: Recover with food or drink of your choice. (Chocolate frozen yogurt, if you're me.)

So, that was my week in writing! Of course, I left out the part about having to miss the last day of my two rhetoric classes that I really love, and then sending a mea culpa email to my instructor. But hey, it's done! One final left and that's the game on my first year at UT.

Is your essay-writing (or anything-writing) style similar to mine? What do you do when your muse skips town? Do you have any chocolate frozen yogurt?

6 comments:

charlieschurchofchrist said...

In college I was a master at really stretching out my point and tackling it from various angels - but in a way that you couldn't quickly discern what I was doing. bwhaha!

Su said...

Is there another way of doing it? ;)

The Smiths said...

This is perfect! So true. I remember writing papers by writing an outline and then beefing it out. I would SOMETIMES write an outline, then REFERENCE it, then fill in the words. I got worse and worse as I went. I became really burned out on school and finally just wrote papers the night before they were due with a stack of reference books next to me with (hopefully) good indexes. Whew. Thanks for reminding me that I DO NOT want to do that again if I can help it! :)
Andrea

Su said...

I was talking about outlining with a girl at the writing center today-- she had come in for a consultation & her instructor encouraged her to "reverse outline" her paper, that is, write an outline after it's written to help with organization, backing up the thesis, etc. I told her about how I'm hopeless at outlining & can't possibly do an outline before; I only do them after writing. The best way for me to write is to just start! But that's no good when I'm procrastinating.

Nahno McLein said...

I wish I'd have had those tips a month earlier. Now I'm almost done with my last out of four.

But thanks for next time. I'm glad that my panicking in between was appropriate after all.

Nahno

Su said...

Hee! I wish I'd had these tips a month earlier... I might have avoided a few steps! Especially the "not saving" one!

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