Essay Writing: A Guide

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If you are an engineer, disregard this article. This is for all those in programs in which essay writing is a necessary hell we must endure. Now ArtSci is an obvious one, and I honestly have no fucking clue if other faculties often have term papers in lieu of final exams (or, sometimes, in addition to final exams). For those nights when the paper is due in less than 12 hours, and you’ve got a blank page to fill with 2500 words, here are some handy tips.

  • Take an original, popular stance: A lot of profs won’t like it if you write a paper where you just reiterate what someone else wrote in a book. So it’s best for you to develop an original – though very popular – thesis for your paper. If you come up with something that would make the prof seem ignorant or just a straight up racist if they disagreed with it, you’re on the right track.
    • Example: “In the following paper I will argue that slavery in the pre-civil war American South was detrimental to the experiences of African Americans.”
  • Fill it up with flowery language: Every prof will tell you to be as clear and simple as possible, but seriously, fuck that. Thesaurus.com is your best friend during this period (did you know it was based on a book?) as you need to make your sentences as wordy and complex as possible, with the addition of commas and – if necessary – semicolons; that way you can confuse the fuck out of them and they’ll give you a B+ just for trying so hard.  See how easy it is – that previous sentence was 63 words long. Plus, look at the greatest works of literature in history. Here is an excerpt from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand on each knee, and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon under his flapped waistcoat, as though it pitted its gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the brisk fire.” He could have said “Here’s this old guy,” but he didn’t because he needed to fill space. I will now present a list of some useful synonyms and multi-syllabic wonder words open for your use:
    • henceforth
    • paradigm
    • post-colonial imperialism
    • ergo
    • antithesis (best used within your thesis)
    • neo neorealism
    • intertextuality
  • A passing reference to the impressive size of your prof’s genatalia can never hurt: This is just common sense.
    • Example: “Stalin and the USSR’s influence over the fate of World War Two was gigantic, just like Dr. Stevenson’s clitoris.”
  • Find good sources or just make them up: If you’re a film student like me, you are pretty much required to refer to Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. I have never read this paper, but just toss in a nod to it in the essay and you will gain instant clout. I’m not sure if there are equivalent famous papers in other programs, but one source you can always count on is The Bible, by the ultimate scholar – God. Unless your prof is an ex-con, throwing a made-up bible quote in there can’t hurt because there’s no chance they’ve read the whole Bible.
    • Example: “And, thus, the LORD spoke to Jeremiah, ‘The patriarchy’s dominance of Western political systems for the past two millennia has been the major cause of social inequality’” (Zaius 4:16)
    • In addition, you can just make up a fake paper that you supposedly found in a real journal. As long as you cite it properly you can TOTALLY get away with it. Like, wouldn’t you think that Dr. Christoph Weimhauer, professor of economics from the University of Dusseldorf is a real person? I would. And even if your prof figures you out, (s)he will likely just commend you for the initiative you took to be dishonest.
  • It’s not an essay unless it’s written under the influence: Coming full circle, since it is late at night and you haven’t started this fuckin thing yet, you best start pumping yourself full of substances that can power you through this. The most obvious is coffee/caffeine, which any drug addict in denial will tell you is the REAL most dangerous drug of all, man! Besides caffeine, here is a basic list of other legal and non-legal stimulants to leave you with. Good luck, here they are: Amphetamine and its derivatives, Caffeine, Ephedrine,  MDMA, MDPV, Prolintane, Mephedrone, Modafinil, Nicotine and its derivatives, Propylhexedrine, Cocaine and its derivatives. Take your pick.
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