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How to write a paper

By Melanie Woods, April 2 2015

Tis the season for hours of studying and finishing 5,000-word papers the day before they’re due. With your overwhelming workload in mind, we here at the Gauntlet compiled a step-by-step guide to writing the perfect research paper.

1. Decide on a medium. Abandon Microsoft Word and get creative. Actually, get political. Spray-paint the entire text of your paper for POLI 349 about the risks of Alberta’s oil-invested economy on the side of Jim Prentice’s car. Whatever works for you.

2. Gather your sources. Head to Market Mall, stop at the Source by Circuit City and visit the pimpled pubescent sales associate named Bryan. Bryan will help you pick up some new headphones, a boombox and maybe even one of those cool remote-control monster trucks. Thanks, Bryan!

3. Decide on your citation style. Depending on the class, your professor likely recommended Chicago, MLA or APA. Show them that you’re creative by making up your own. Refer to single authors as “y’all,” multiple authors as “all y’all” and the possessive of multiple authors as “all’s y’all’s.” Ensure that all sources listed in your bibliography are presented in proper Spenserian sonnet form. Your professor will thank you for making their marking more enjoyable.

4. Formulate your thesis statement. This should summarize both the arguments contained in your paper and every argument you’ve ever had. Be sure to include a dig at your ex-girlfriend who didn’t understand your punk-rock aesthetic and your friend who insisted on playing the Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” on repeat for the entirety of your four-hour road trip to Jasper last month.

5. Write your introduction. Introduce your topic. Does your topic like long walks on the beach? Could they be with someone with tattoos? What are six things they could never do without? Why should we swipe right on this topic? Is your topic looking for a brief fling or something more long-term? Throw in an amusing emoji or two to show that your topic is fun and flirty.

6. Write the body of your paper. Find a bull. Have him shit on your paper. Make no effort to clean it up. In fact, just spread it around and integrate it with what little information you have.

7. Write your conclusion. Be sure to include shirtless Hugh Jackman somewhere. Somebody has to die, and there should be a wedding, a birth and a cliffhanger leaving your readers wondering if Jessica is going to choose Rick or Tim.

8. Decide on a title. Lyrics to Lil’ Wayne songs usually work and it will show your professor that you’re hip with the kids. “Money talks, bullshit walks on a motherfucking tightrope” is the ideal heading for any upper-level economics paper on tariffs and trade agreements.

9. Proof read. Proof read again. Proof read again.. Proof reed again. Prooof read again. Continue proof-reading until you die. Hand in the wrong paper.

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