How to Bs Your Way Through a College Paper

1281 Words Apr 5th, 2011 6 Pages
If you're a slacker, this is a familiar situation: it's literally the 11th hour. A paper upon which your entire grade depends is due in a few hours and you haven't even started yet. Not to fear! Follow these easy steps and you'll be well on your way to academic survival!

edit Steps

1. 1 Do not panic! Remember that all college papers and most high school papers require double spacing, so take the number of pages required and divide it by two: that's the amount of work that you actually have to do, and it should be much less intimidating (unless you're in real trouble). 2. 2 Go to the library ASAP, or (if there isn't one open when you start) open your computer's browser to Google. Unfortunately,
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Avoid contractions, which are often inappropriately informal for academic writing. Try some phrases such as "due to the fact that," "during such time," "a limited number of," et cetera, which contribute formality and length. Strunk and White have an excellent section about this here (note that their advice was always "omit needless words"). You can also replace active verbs with "to be" verbs, which are more formal, for example: to indicate (to be indicative of), to reflect (to be reflective of), to desire (to be desirous of), and to know (to be acquainted with, to be familiar with, to be cognizant of). This is a good list of formal phrases that might be considered "wordy." * Replace common, everyday words with multi-syllable words that are more interesting and less overused. These words can add precision to your writing. See this article. Words of Latin and Greek origin are often more impressive and more formal than words of Germanic origin. When you want to write as much as you can, they can also help fill more space. Also avoid repeating the same words; if you are debating something and find yourself using "controversial" too often, consider using "polemical." Always, always, always have a thesaurus on hand for this sort of emergency!

Including the terms employed by the experts makes the writing clearer and shows the professor that you know what you are talking about. Be sure to define jargon when appropriate,

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