How to Write a Term Paper Properly

The end of term two is approaching at an uncomfortably fast rate and I’m sitting at my desk, looking at the assessment brief for the paper I’m supposed to be writing at the moment. My brain is telling me to write the paper.

“It’s only 1,000 words, dude. You’ve written an entire book. This should be nothing.”

Yes, brain. However, I’m a university student, so apart from attempting to attend classes, my duty is to procrastinate for as long as humanly possible. And I’m doing pretty well so far. I haven’t come close to actually starting this paper. It’s due in two weeks, so I have about two weeks left before I have to do anything.

Here’s the thing though: The more time I spend writing this paper, the better the quality. Therefore, we can deduce that less time spent writing = worse quality of paper.

I was born and raised in Germany, so I’m used to an overall good quality of, well, everything. From home insulation to cars to toasters to alcohol. So the German angel on my shoulder is telling me to start this paper now in order to achieve the highest quality possible given the amount of time I have left.

The devil on my shoulder (I don’t know the nationality of this one, but I’ll assume it’s American) is telling me to continue this amazing streak of procrastination I’ve managed to uphold for about 8 weeks now. It would be a shame to break it.

I mean, seriously.

All this work for nothing? 8 long, grueling weeks of procrastination and I’m just gonna let all of that go to waste for… for what? For getting a better mark on a paper that doesn’t really affect my chance of advancing to the next year? For making the assessor’s life easier due to my diligence and multiple proofreading efforts? For the possibility of learning something actually interesting during this paper-writing journey? For being a good example to other students and motivating them to start writing now rather than putting it off until the last minute?

Well… I mean, I moved to London to study this stuff. This is why I’m here. I am paying cold, hard cash to do this. I’m basically financing my own paper at this point. It would be irresponsible not to make it the best goddamn paper ever written by anybody ever.

If I don’t start now, the quality of my paper will decrease dramatically as time passes, and I’ll end up losing the respect of my parents, I’ll overeat because I’ll be clinically stressed, and I’ll fall into a black hole of despair and misery because of my inability to fulfill the expectations of those who believed in me.

But I haven’t watched the last episode of Black Mirror yet, so.



  1. Dude, try writing a thesis, I feel like I’ve been on a procrastination marathon for about the last two years…

  2. I run into the same challenge. But think of it this way…no one paper will determine the outcome of your career. Also, you probably will not ever be the worst paper a professor has ever read. Also, you’re also a good writer; it’s hard to get away from that. :)

    • Thanks! Yeah it definitely won’t determine the outcome of my career. I’m studying music performance, so the only thing that would really damage my career is if I suddenly lost all sense of rhythm and melody.

  3. Well, I guess I have finally gained a little more insight into what was going on in your mind throughout the year you were under my tutelage. I say watch that episode of Black Mirror (it’s pretty good), and then, you know, try to at least get a thesis statement out before bed. The feeling you will have the next morning is like whatever is the opposite of a hangover.

    • Yeah, I figured that would be a good start. I wrote about half of it that day and I felt like a new man the next morning. Also, that last episode of Black Mirror is frighteningly good.

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