Why You Shouldn’t Leave an 8-page Essay for the Last Day…

… Especially if you never wrote an 8-page essay before.

At least I have the introduction, which took up most of the first page… And I have an idea of what I want to write… But it’s just so much stuff, so much information, and I have no idea how to start structuring it. I’m using information from a book, from which I didn’t take notes because I read it on my phone, since I’m through with printing entire books (maybe one day I will express my complete loathing for printers, and it’s not like I’m made of money and can go print it somewhere), and taking notes was never really my thing/wasn’t really practical at the time, anyway (try taking notes while on the train/bus). I’m also using information from a documentary, which I actually rewatched yesterday AND took notes of, so that will probably help (never used documentaries for papers, fyi, so I have no idea what I’m doing here). I also have to use an article, which isn’t so bad since it’s relatively shorter than the other two sources, and there’s an actual specific part where I know I’m going to use it. The others are to be used in the essay in general.

Now, I only have to take all of this and answer the prompt questions the professor sent, which I have actually done, for the most part. Where I’m stuck at is developing that into a coherent text, and making sure it lasts 8 fucking pages. My problem with this is that I know that I’ll have to go in circles, and explain stuff I normally wouldn’t feel the need to explain. When writing this sort of thing, my natural method is to synthesize. Broad images, specify and explain where necessary, no repetitions or filler. This is how, during tests, I can answer a question in one page or less and have a good score, while some take up an entire test sheet and end up with the same score. I have never been good with writing a specific number of pages, and when it comes to a specific amount of words I sometimes have to drag it out beyond what I would consider necessary.

There’s also the fact that I had to come up with an “original argument”. This was difficult, because my essay’s subject, while we have been studying it since the beginning of the semester, is a bit too far removed from me. It’s not that I don’t understand it or empathize with the people involved, I just think that, since I’ve never gone through the situation, I don’t feel like I have the authority to opine on it and can’t come up with something more coherent than “I can’t believe people can do this to others, seriously fuck this, if the world ended it would be a favor for everyone because, honestly, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.” I want to point out that I, usually, am a pretty idealistic person. It’s just that I somehow managed to reconcile “people are good” with “people are assholes” in my mind. Still, I eventually managed to come up with something, so that’s out of the way.

If this weren’t enough, my parents failed to tell me family would be visiting today, so I’m also distracted because of that. I’m also having a test tomorrow, which is going to be fun. At this point, I’m entering the stage when I just stop caring whether I’m doing it right or not, when I just do whatever bullshit crosses my mind and hope for the best. Right now, I just want to finish this and move on. Still… It’s just not me. I like to make an effort and put my best into my work, even if it turns out to not be exactly what I had envisioned or what my professor wanted. At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m not reaching the 8 page mark, no matter how hard I try. Honestly, the length of a paper is never the priority for me. My priority is always the content, if it is clear and correct and if I’m using the proper citations. Then I’ll think of length.

(And this is how you write a blog post longer than what you wrote for your paper, and in less time :P)

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