Things I'd forgotten about writing term papers

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Nicole-HUX, Nov 10, 2001.

  1. Nicole-HUX

    Nicole-HUX New Member

    It's been quite a while since I've written a term paper so my instructor suggested I check out his file of past submissions, to review the literature as it were. It's a good thing I did because I very quickly realized how many of the basics I'd totally forgotten about writing the undergraduate term paper. In case any of you ever find yourselves in a similar position, here are the salient points:

    1) The fancier the cover, the more appealing the content.

    2) Use very wide margins (top, bottom, and sides) and large type so the paper is easier to read.

    3) Say the same thing in different words repeatedly, over and over again, ad infinitum, to stress your point.

    4) When in doubt, paraphrase extensively from the textbook.

    5) The more quotations used, the less actual writing needs to be done.

    6) Do not use page numbers, staples, or paperclips to hold the paper together. If dropped, it should be distinctive enough to fall into proper page order with almost magnetic precision.

    7) Make sure to state what you WOULD have done if you had more time, better resources, or a relative in the industry.

    8) Throw in at random completely unrelated facts to prove how much research you've done.

    9) Whether or not you've used them, add several books to your bibliography so it doesn't look like you only checked the internet for sources.

    10) Borrow liberally from other sources but add material to it in your own words to make it more accessible.

    11) Do not feel constrained to choose a topic directly related to the class: the instructor will probably appreciate the variety.

    12) Using large words incorrectly will add a certain jeunesse croissant.

    And now it's time for me to get writing. Catch you all later.
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Very good observations, Nicole. I especially like #1. I have always been of the opinion that if one's diploma looks professional, it doesn't matter where it comes from. [​IMG]

  3. Bill Highsmith

    Bill Highsmith New Member

    I've been told I have a lot of jeunesse croissant, but some serious dieting will help that. I'm also told I have a lot of gravitass, but exercise will help that. Just yesterday, someone mentioned my misstique, but I promised to be more careful. Someone eles suggested that I had lysdexia and ouldsh get hlep, but I todl him eh was a lair.
  4. barryfoster

    barryfoster New Member

    The best strategy for writing papers is to:
    (1) Determine the style adopted by your particular school. They are different.
    (2) Buy and browse through the styleguide book.
    (3) Follow it *exactly*.

    Plus you might get lucky and find some help via software. For example, Fielding expects APA. I found a utility for MS Word that set up an APA stylesheet. I used it religiously - on every paper. Big time saver!

    Another *big* tip is to purchase a software package called "Endnotes" - for managing your bibliographies, references, etc. It works with MS Word. The $100 or so you pay is well worth the time you'll save formatting your papers and managing your references. Students get a discount. (There are other packages, but this is one I'm familiar with. I still use it.)

    Barry Foster
  5. uxu

    uxu New Member

    Barry (and the rest),

    I have been using a free alternative to Endnotes ( )
    Works great... and did I mention it's FREE?
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I wonder if there are any comparable programs for the Harvard Method of documentation, which is used by many non-US schools? Potchefstroom University uses this particular method:

  7. barryfoster

    barryfoster New Member

    Nice find. It looks like it's limited to MLA. You can pick the style with Endnotes. (Geez, now I sound like I'm on commission .... I'm not! :)



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