How to write a last-minute paper


Josh Feinblatt

Double Spaced

1.1 Inch Margins

As much information to take up

as much space as possible


Rewording of the Assignment Title

This first sentence is a hook, and it starts out with something to the effect of “since the beginning of American history,” or another broad statement. In the introductory paragraph, you’ll put around five sentences or so just talking about common knowledge for your topic. If you were talking about a specific battle of the civil war, you’d give a bunch of information about Abraham Lincoln and the south. You’d pull something from the back of your head having to do with general Lee. That’s his name, right? There’s not enough time to google it, so we’ll rely on fourth grade knowledge. Most sentences will be broad statements or in the past tense. Finally — your last sentence will begin with finally, because it’s your thesis statement — you’ll make a very bold claim, the hot take of the academic world, and probably the same thing everybody else is saying, and forget you have to back it up in the rest of the paper.

In this first body paragraph, we start with a topic sentence. State a piece of evidence that backs up the thesis statement. We learned this in third grade so it should not be that hard. If your thesis said pigeons are the worst type of animal, begin with the fact that they have high disease rates, you assume. Do not give any real facts yet — just make a claim that seems right. It’s not hard. It’s just like writing a news story.

After you go re-check your thesis statement and come up with a piece of evidence, look at a reading from class, and the first sentence you see, just use it. Throw some quotes around it and hope that it’s thought-provoking enough to pass as “evidence.” Your teacher will think you actually did the reading. In the comments, they will probably underline this sentence and put a checkmark or “good point” next to it.

After that, go back and check your notebook. Those bullet points copied word for word from the PowerPoint in class are going to come in handy. Try and turn some of those into complete sentences. For example, if you have the bullet point “social media effective w/ young demos,” you would turn that into a beautifully crafted sentence such as, “studies suggest that when it comes to selling products to the 18-35 demographic, there are many optimal routes, but social media is the most direct in imprinting products into that consumer group.” See? Nice and easy, and you did not really add anything.

Afterward, you’ll add a few more sentences in a similar manner, just copying bullet points. If for some God-forsaken reason your teacher made you write an outline, then you should definitely steal as many words as possible from that. Just throw random words in at this point. The words “strategy,” “domesticity,” “compliance,” “interactivity” and really anything with more than six letters will apply here. You will have a paragraph if you do all this. Repeat these past few steps a couple more times, depending on how long that paper is. If it’s only a page, stop, but if it’s three to five pages, might want to loop back to the second step a few more times.

You’re doing great so far, and wow, your parents must be proud that tuition is helping you advance as a human being. At this point, you should be nearing the conclusion. If you’re out of time, then just end without a conclusion. If you want to seem like you’re not an obvious slacker, try to throw a couple sentences together to sum up the paper. The first and last sentence of the conclusion should model the thesis statement, except even more vague and bold.

The first sentence of the conclusion has to have that attitude of, “Yeah, I proved something in this paper.” The last sentence of the conclusion should have the feeling of “profound, philosophical question posed to the audience.” For all the sentences in between, just copy and paste a sentence from each body paragraph in there.

Once you wrap up, all you have left to do is proofread. Press that “spell check” button, and other than ignoring your last name actually being spelled correctly, fix whatever seems blatantly obvious. Other than that, submit the paper and you can resume what you were doing before writing this paper — getting drunk.

Josh Feinblatt is a sophomore television, radio and film major. He knows what writing last-minute is like, because he started writing this at 9:52 a.m. for a 10 a.m. deadline (and didn’t make it). He can be reached on Twitter @joshfeinblatt or with all essays by email at


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