How To Write An Essay

Hallo ladies and germs!

Today is a very special day as it is the day I grace the world with knowledge of How To Write An Essay or rather, how to write an essay Miko style.

I don’t pretend I’m a great writer (I cry myself bitterly to sleep each night at that fact) nor do I pretend that I’ll ever begin an assignment days before its due.

Efficient, On task, Organized, Adhering to a schedule?

I laugh very darkly at that. Very darkly. I’ve never been any of those nor do I want to be because it’s too much of a hassle trying to change my habits now. At one point, I did try as I’m sure everyone who suffers procrastination has. But like those who’ve come before me, I ended up hunched in front of my laptop, cans of soda piled next to me, tapping keys, sobbing and pleading to the heavens that 5am isn’t only two hours away.

I’m despicable, I know.

So this is why I’ve decided to write this guide for all my fellow peeps who do find themselves continuously in front of their computers or laptops in the middle of the night, praying they don’t fall asleep before they finish. (I’ve had that happen to me before and it is a far from pleasant feeling to wake up at 5am in a puddle of drool with a half finished paper on the screen. It’s heartbreaking.)

But I’ll admit that this is more for me than it is for anyone else. I’m a selfish brat who doesn’t make sense half the time I open my mouth.

How  Not To Write An Essay

 

  1. The night before the essay is due, locate a niche for you, your essay things, headphones, and your computer. Do keep in mind, that the less comfortable it is, the less chance you have of falling asleep. I, personally, have developed the habit of climbing into my attic for several reasons. One being that it is freezing cold. It’s seriously like The Arctic and I fear that one day I’ll find some penguins chilling (haha get it?) up in there.
  2. Grab as many cold drinks you can find. The most helpful I find is soda. While energy drinks do perk you up, they are not ideal in that most leave you a wide eyed jittery mess in your morning classes. Maybe it’s just me, though.
  3. Once settled in, get crackin’. It’ll take a while, believe me. Of course, my attention span is shorter than most so I retract that statement. It won’t take too long…
  4.  Start with the simple stuff. Like typing your name, for example. Do it slowly, perfectly, languidly. Relish in typing all the headers, inserting page numbers, and adding in the dates. If you do it right, a sense of accomplishment will wash over you in gentle feel-good waves. Once obtaining this feeling, you may take a break. (See further below for breaks ).
  5. After said quick break, return to your essay. Fist pump the air because now you actually begin the war. Introductions are generally the hardest to do since they hold what is most precious to an essay. The Thesis. [insert scary music here]. But do not worry! It’s nothing you can’t tackle.
  6. Take a sip of whatever drink you’ve smuggled in with you and then place your fingers on the keys. Start typing an intro regardless of how crappy it seems. Keep going  and going, throwing in your thesis in at some point. Then, when finished with your paragraph, lean back and gaze at your work.
  7. It’s shitty, you notice.
  8. Duh. Of course it is. Do you honestly believe the best of essays are sprouted from the tips of fingertips on their first try? Hardly any come out brilliant on the first go, so why would yours be any different? Sink in disappointment for a bit, it’s all ok. Now take a break.
  9. When done with super short break (key word short), come back to your intro and revise it. Switch around the order of your sentences, cut and paste a few things around, add in bigger words – show your teacher your vocabulary isn’t as minuscule as she perceives it to be, and finally reword or completely transform your thesis. (I find following the  What, How, Why format most helpful…yes the training wheels are still stuck on…)
  10. Give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve made it through your introduction! Go take a congratulatory piss and stretch your legs a bit. Perhaps you tidy up the cans or juice pouches laying around you or you may even decide to get yourself a snack. It’s alright, you’ve just won a battle and to the winners go the spoils, correct?
  11. Begin your first paragraph. Now, this is where I differ from some of my fellow peers in writing essays. I turn away from my laptop and open the book or check all the sources I’m using in constructing the essay. Keeping the main point of the first paragraph in mind, I skim through them and highlight, underline, circle, all the quotes, etc. that pop out to me and I’d like to see in my paragraph. Then I arrange them in chronological order of what I’d like to appear first and so on. Then I turn back to the screen and write out a quick paragraph, throwing in my evidence in the order I had arranged them to be in. Then it’s break time!
  12. After break, return and do the same as you did with the introduction. Play with it till it looks somewhat acceptable. Remember this is the night before it’s due, it certainly won’t be perfect.
  13. Break time! (There might be a little too many breaks going on…)
  14. Repeat steps 11-13 with your following paragraphs, however many they may be.
  15. Now you should be at your conclusion stage. This is a toughie. I don’t fare too well in concluding my essays so I can’t offer much assistance other than giving a few pointers.
      • Do not use “In conclusion” ever. That’s a cop out. Talk about training wheels… Phrases such as this are a dead giveaway to your teacher that you have not broken free from middle school English class. It was cute back then, now it makes you look foolish. Definitely not cute anymore.
      • While your thesis must ‘reappear’ in your conclusion, copying and pasting is not the way to go. Teachers notice despite how much we pray they don’t.
      • Remember that it is not just a summarization of your points made in your paragraphs. It’s not just about the arguments, but what the arguments claim. It is the claim you are discussing. Focus on that and elaborate.
        • Try not to make your last sentence look like the last page of your essay is missing. Make sure it is clear that it is the final sentence and don’t just leave your teachers hanging. I’ve had a few teachers ask me if I was missing a part of my essay before… It was a very sheepish moment for me having to admit I just cut off the essay because I did not want to write anymore.
  16. BREEEAKKK TIMEEE
  17. Read over your essay and add a few touch ups, make sure all specifications are followed (correct font, size, etc.). And add in your bibliography (works cited).
  18. You’re done! Now you can pass out in relief. Hopefully not on your computer though. It’s not comfy. no…not comfy…

 

Ideas For Break Times

  1. Watch a few youtube videos. Limit yourself to 3. (A suggestion would be Ellen…at 2 in the morning anything she says is suddenly the funniest shit you’ve ever heard.)
  2. Blast some fast beat music into your ears. Think of it as your battle cry…it’s inspiration!
    • how about this
    • or this
    • or maybe even this
    • and if you like anime music this might (will) be fun (this one of my favorite english versions)
  3. Create your own montage in your head. Do this alongside with music or not…it doesn’t matter.
  4. Snack time!
  5. Chug down a can of soda and time yourself.
  6. Do a few pushups.
  7. Read fanfiction
  8. Get absorbed into fanfiction and come back to essay with tears in your eyes after finishing a 20,000 word story/novel.
  9. Marvel at the talent of fanfiction authors.
  10. Pinch yourself.
  11. Make obscene jokes…to yourself.
  12. Speak to yourself in the third person.
  13. Cry silently knowing there will be no sleep for you tonight.
  14. Drink more and more cans of soda.
  15. Pretend you are someone else.
  16. Look up funny pictures of cats.
  17. Read manga.
  18. Find a new manga to obsess over and then start reading fanfiction about said manga.
  19. Write a guide on how to write an essay in order to prevent yourself from writing your own essay.

productivity

And if you are actually looking for help you might want to check this out:

Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t

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Posted on November 12, 2013, in My Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Now it will be plenty obvious that I’m literally “stalking” you. (I had no idea you actually had a Stalk Me button when I wrote my previous comment.)

    I follow all your guidelines to a tee while writing especially the break times, though mine also turn into imaginary situation dialogs with myself and doodles that turn into full fledged sketches, which I then cry over because I made them on lined paper. 😦

    I read this during one of my “breaks” :

    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

    -and feel that I too should start loving that noise, it happens more often than not….sad sad fact of life.

    Anyway..I think I’ve written enough. In case you are not sure yet, I love your blog. 🙂

    • Yup, yup, yup, I got an email and everything 😀

      I’ve done the doodle thing too! And it stings, like ripping off a bandaid, when I realize how beautiful it is…but it’s on LINED paper instead of blank white paper. I still hang them up on my wall anyways.

      I made this…on one of my “breaks”. (That’s a lie… I made it before starting, boy did I NOT get sleep that night.)

      And thanks, I shall check out yours!

  2. Haha!
    I know right?? (Love writing that in places where it EXACTLY feels right.)
    I can imagine…:P

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