How to Churn Out a College Essay & All My Awful Essays

Sorry for the super long title and what I’m sure will be a super long post. Basically, I was thinking about what I learned in college and I just kept thinking about the song “I Love College” by Asher Roth — a lot of partying and social things, but not a lot of actual, tangible facts that I can pull from my head. I think my philosophy minor taught me that I don’t actually know anything, meaning college was essentially the experience of learning that I know nothing (read my last essay listed on this page). Sorry, that’s an aside.

 

Me not writing an essay. Mission accomplished.

The real point of this post is something that I learned how to do really well in college: churn out an essay. Notice that I’m not saying write an essay. This is more out of grinding process where words just manifest in nonsensical and only vaguely related ways for ten pages. The following, in a simple 7 step form, is what professors don’t want you to know, what they don’t want you to write, and what will make you graduate with a 3.5 GPA without spending almost any time writing stupid papers for classes you have little to no interest in. Yes, these papers will suck. Yes, if you do this you lack scholastic integrity. Yes, you can get back to partying with your friends.

 

  1. Read your essay guidelines that usually suggest topics for you to write. I’m going to choose an actual topic from my senior year, but this method works for any subject or discipline as you will soon see. “Analyze a thematic style from a classic film director studied in this course.” Boom. Okay, find something easy that people will have obviously wrote about in the past. So, I chose “suspense in Alfred Hitchcock movies”. I know, this is an easy example — sometimes essays are harder in those upper level philosophy courses and with those you have to get much more creative in part two…
  2. Immediately get online with your school’s library and choose a database listing. I think my favorite is Academic Search Complete because it’s got something like 50 databases in one. Make sure to check all of the databases so you search everything. So first, enter in “Suspense” and then “Alfred Hitchcock”. You might also find out what movies he has directed and then use “Suspense” and “Movie Name” to find those too, if you’re looking for particular films. Make sure to check “Full text available” on your search”
  3. Click search, and then open about 20 sources and read their little descriptions. If they sound relevant, download the PDF files to a folder so you can get to them easily again. (I also like to check that the PDF articles are searchable when I preview them: who the hell wants to actually read these things to find content? You can search for suspense or whatever and find quotes faster.) You’ll also, at this point, want to make sure you have a RefWorks account (just Google it, but it’s usually provided through your school). This site takes those articles you’re searching and compiles your Works Cited page. Because who the hell wants to try to figure out MLA, APA, ASA or whatever formats? I didn’t, so I just let this site do it for me. You’ll see an “export to Refworks” icon on almost all databases, or something similar. You’re in college, figure it out.
  4. So now, gather the top 10 or however many sources you need, open then, read them if you have to, or just search the PDFs (control + f) for things you need. I take five or six quotes from each article about my topic and past them in a Word document. Make sure to write down page numbers so you can cite them in your paper without having to look at the articles again.
  5. Now you want to make a framework for your paper based on your quotes. Look at what they have in common or don’t have in common. Use this to establish three broad topics, and for each topic, three subtopics. This will give you enough BS to write about to go for several pages. So, for example, three topics in this case can be individual movies, and the subtopics can be how suspense is used in each of the movies (three examples or three different approaches). Something like that. You’ll figure it out as you start pasting it what fits or doesn’t fit.
  6. Write your paper. So from here, write a brief introduction that is probably where the paper will go, then start filling in ways to bridge the quotes. My formula is usually quote, two sentences about the quote, another quote, two sentences, and so on.
  7. Add more filler until you reach your page/word quota. Print it out and turn it in (because professors live in 1910 apparently) or e-mail it to the super future professors who use this advanced technology. If you’re struggling on the filler, you can always blatantly cheap. Google the period trick, which is the best way to gain a page or so when you write a paper.

So, you might be wondering how is this possible? Am I making this up? No, I’m not, and it’s really possible because I certainly did it just like I explained it. I was able to churn out the worst, yet acceptable, papers in just a few hours. So, provided below is every paper I wrote in college at Trinity University. I don’t care what you do with these essays. Use them as a reference, laugh at them, print them out and turn them in as your own (I feel like that might be kind of stupid, but hey, I don’t think many professors actually check).

As an aside, some of these classes I really enjoyed a lot, and, in general, those papers have more interesting content because I had some enjoyment from the class. I’ve denoted those classes with an asterisk after the course title.

AIS 3180 – Introduction to Aboriginal Studies (Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia)
Presentation (Aboriginal Art and Community)
Essay (Importance of Aboriginal Studies)

ANTH 1301 – Introduction to Anthropology
Essay – Final Paper (Avocado Production Chain)

ANTH 2310 – Human Evolution*
Essay – Final (Zoo Project)
Project Review

ANTH 3327 – Contemporary Minorities
Presentation – History of Marginalization
Essay – Final Paper

ANTH 3394 – Seminar in Forensics*
Essay – Final (Ballistics Trauma to the Skull)
Presentation (Ballistics Trauma to the Skull)

ANTH 4362 – Globalization and International Development
Essay – Final (Development and Sustainable Agriculture in Central America – A Case Study of Belize)

ARTH 1307 – Art History Prehistoric to Medieval
Final – Roman Verism Portraiture
(Note: This is a really awful paper; in the professors feedback she wrote “thesis unclear” and then crossed it out and wrote “thesis missing“. Still got an A, but just a warning.)

ARTH 1308 – Art History Medieval to Modern
Presentation – Las Meninas
Final – Art Comparison

CLAS 1302 – Introduction to Classical Literature
Essay – Ethics in Classical Literature
Essay – The Role of Sex and Power in Jason and the Golden Fleece

COMM 1301 – Introduction to Mass Media*
Project – Follow the Ownership Trail
Project – Media Fast
Final Project – New TV Show

COMM 2302 – Media Interpretation and Criticism
Essay – Ad Analysis
Essay – Media Self-Reflection
Project – Video Project
Essay – Final (On Family Guy – The Narrative and the Postmodern)

COMM 3303 – Media Audiences
Essay – Theodor Adorno Bio
Presentation – Theodor Adorno
Essay – Propaganda Messages in Americas Army

COMM 3322 – International Development*
Essay – National Profile – Belize
Essay – Final (Belizean Agricultrual Dependence)

COMM 3323 – Propaganda and the Media*
Essay – All Quiet on the Western Front Analysis
Essay – America’s Army Analysis (Revised)

COMM 3326 – History of Mass Media*
Literary Review – Character Development in Sitcoms
Essay – Media Study – Race and Gender

COMM 4395 – Communication Major Capstone
Thesis – Developing a Targeted Website
(Here’s my entire thesis. Someone please print this out and turn it in as their own in an 100 level communication course and let me know what grade you get!)

ENGL 1302 – Writing Workshop
Essay – On Dishonesty in Integrity
Essay – The Console Divide

ENGL 2304 – American Literature
Essay – Feminism in Trifles
Essay – Native American Representation

FILM 1301 – Introduction to Film
Essay – Hitchcock, North by Northwest, and Suspense

HIST 1371 – African American Literature (For one of these book reviews, I remember asking my roommate to pick random passages for me to quote and put into the essay as a dare. So these are bound to be winners.)
Essay – Aristocrats of Color Book Review
Essay – Blacker the Berry Book Review
Essay – Brownsville Raid Book Review
Essay – Soul on Ice Book Review

MCC 1354 – Video Game Art & Design
Essay (Video Game Design)

PHIL 1301 – Introduction to Philosophy*
Essay (Descartes)

PHIL 1354 – Ethics*
Essay (Kant and Mill)

PHIL 1320 – Classical Philosophy
Midterm Essay (Plato Crito)
Final Essay (Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics)

PHIL 2314 – Philosophy of Film
Presentation – Fight Club
Essay (Appartus)
Essay (Platos Cave Allegory and Film)

PHIL 3331 – Philosophy of the Mind*
Literary Review (Functionalism)
Final Essay (Consciousness as Functionalism)

PHIL 3339 – Epistemology*
Essay – Reflections on Knowledge

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12 April 2009

Finally, I make a real post. It doesn’t seem like that long since I last got on this, and I could have sworn I updated after I got here, but apparently not. I can talk a little more now about the differences between home and here, although many of the differences now feel obvious. Driving on the wrong side of the road actually is feeling more right. Although I am a Texan, my fears of traveling to Australia were pretty much pointless. Everyone here is extremely nice and Americans, while they get a bad rep as a group, as individuals are treated very well. Aussies can’t even tell my accent — I am often asked if I’m from Canada, which is apparently the favorite foreigner for Oz. Don’t ask me!

Hanging out at the extremely classy Newport "hotel". I wouldn't want to stay here.

The yankees from my group turned out to be a really great selection of people for the most part. The guys from Pittsburg are awesome, and they know how to party. I haven’t really stuck with them as part of my crew for the most part, but we’re all on friendly terms still. Cairns was a fun experience in general, and it gave me a taste of Australia. I managed to get kicked out of the bar on the first night so a success in general. But, that whole experience seems like ages ago at this point. We were all different people, slightly.

These days I pretty much hang out by the pool and do some clubbing at night. Monday Norfolk, Tuesday Kardy, Wednesday Newport, Thursday Claremont, Friday Northbridge, Saturday Metros Freo, Sunday Sess at the Cot. Pretty solid party schedule. Occasionally I mix it up, but I’m pretty set on my favorite places.

24 March 2009

This country is beautiful

In Feb., I didn’t post anything to this blog, but I did write home to my parents after going on a 10 day backpacking trip to the Outback.

Hello everyone!

I have successfully returned from my trip to the Outback. I’ve been doing my best to get all the photos sorted out so that everyone can see them. I also want to give you a day-by-day of our events.

First, here are the photos:
Day 1 to Day 2
Day 2 to Day 4
Day 4 to Day 6
Day 6 to Day 9

I took a little over two hundred. It was basically a summary of all the things I’ve seen and all the fun we had. We got a bit crazy at times, but it was all in good fun. Some really beautiful sights!

Day 1

This is the actual dog who herds the sheep; he liked the attention.

Here we loaded up all of our stuff at 7 AM and started the trip north to the outback. This day was largely driving and we just sat around and listened to music or slept on the bus. When we finally pulled into our first stop at about 5 PM, we were told it was an active wool shed. We had the option of sleeping in the shed or pitching tents, but me and most of the others opted for the tents because it would be cooler and smell less like sheep. Myself, Allie, Oystein, Nichole, Hattie, and Kevin were all in a tent together. It was a big enough tent but sleeping was a pain since we weren’t used to sleeping bags on the ground. The girls had a shock because the showers were pretty limited, and there were Redback spiders in the bathroom, the third most deadly in Australia, as well as the world!

Day 2

You had to wear ridiculous fly nets everywhere to get any kind of peace.

This morning the flies were especially bad. All of us were donning our fly nets and trying our best not to get covered. It was inevitable, but at least our faces would be fine. Unfortunately, trying to eat breakfast was more than a pain — there were flies covering all of our food. Some opted not to eat. Rusty slapped my back to kill some flies, spilling scalding hot coffee on chest, as you can see from the later photos, but I forgave him. It’s tempting to slap anybody that has 40 flies on their back! After driving for some 7 hours, we pulled into our next stop, Newman, a mining town. We were told to not mingle with the locals as apparently miners can be the rougher crowd. Ignoring this, all of the guys and I went out to find a miner bar to see how miner life is. Sadly, we walked for a mile or two only to find out that the miner bar closes at 9 PM because of their schedules. It’s probably for the best!

Day 3

Conquering this stream in the bottom of a gorge

Today we arrived at one of our major stops, Karijini National Park at about 2 PM in 42 C (107 F) weather. We set up camp here — everything was red dirt and dry plants. We had no running water, no electricity, and no flushing toilets. We were advised to check the toilet holes before we sat down because that is where giant spiders and poisonous Redbacks live. Speaking of spiders, there were giant ones everywhere. And by giant, I do mean giant. Some were three to six inches long, as big as my hand. Some were hairy and others were camouflaged. I took a photo of one that is particularly creepy. These things are big enough to catch small birds in their webs. Scary. Our water source turned out to be the waterfalls in the rivers. They are some of the purest forms of water in the world and you can drink straight out of them without worrying about anything harmful. We spent the rest of today going through Dales Gorge, finding circular springs and waterfalls to swim in. It was a refreshing experience after climbing down rocks for several hours!

The dingos come out from the shadows

At night, the dingos, a type of wild dog about the size of bull mastiff with a long snout, started to come out and scavenge for food. Since we were the only campers out in this part of the bush, we were a prime target. We thought there may be one or two out there but as soon as the moon came up, we heard a howl on one side of the camp, and then literally from all sides of the camp came another howl. After this, they raided into the campsite to find what they could. They were certainly creepy.

Day 4

These little guys are relatives of the piranha. Ouch.

We spent most the day at the waterfalls in the river. This is a relaxing area because there was a deck to lay on after we swam. In the water we climbed up on old trees and got massages from the falling water. You didn’t want to sit still for too long because of the little fish in the water which were related to piranhas. They would give you a bit of a nibble, not enough to hurt but enough to startle you! We also climbed to a different gorge that was literally the side of a cliff. Climbing down was intense, if not a little bit scary. But, it was a good reward because through the canyon was a giant waterfall we could all lay on. It was beautiful. Later that night I helped with dinner by grilling sausages and steaks. I was able to save one sausage for later, and Stein and I, sharing a tent, threw a sausage in the bush nearest our tent to lure out the dingos. Sure enough, they came and we got some photos. It was hard to take them because it was pitch black and those dogs were sneaky, but I’ve got two decent ones. We also looked at the stars that night. They were more impressive than anything I’ve ever seen. They make a West Texas night look like a joke. I had no idea that the milky way had so many colors — greens, blues, and reds.

Day 5

Stein and I killing the dozens of giant spiders in our room.

This day we drove for literally twelve or thirteen hours, not including bathroom breaks and food stops. It was hot and sticky because the AC in our bus went out. Exciting stuff! We finally arrived at another sheep farm. Tonight we had actual rooms which was neat. However, Stein and myself had to kill something like 9 spiders in our room. They were huge and neither of us was a fan at all!

Day 6

The coral bay reef

Today we went to Coral Bay. This was a nice highlight because we got to go on a glass bottom boat as well as snorkel. I liked this reef almost as much as the Great Barrier, proof that Australia has some nice places to snorkel. The coral is not as bright as in Mexico, however, because it is a cold water coral. I got to see a 7 foot reef shark, which swam by but was apparently harmless. I also found a sea turtle swimming around, so of course, I had to grab on to it and let him take me for a ride. These are some strong animals. He didn’t seem to mind that I was grabbing on to him. I guess he’s used to people. All of the fish were out on this day because we happened to go on the very day of the coral spawning, which is the one day of the year that coral reproduce. The fish love the spores so they were having a field day. After this, we found a nearby resort and bar. Myself and Ryan split a case of beer and brought it back to the beach. From about 11 AM to 5 PM we continued to drink. All of the sudden I felt dizzy and couldn’t stand.

Hattie and I looking sun drenched after a long day out to sea

The guys just thought I drank too much and dragged my to the beach. I asked for water and after just a few minutes I was back to normal. Apparently the 104 F heat had got to me after all day of not drinking water! It wasn’t that scary, but I should have remembered to drink more water in between the beers. Everyone thought it was pretty funny.

Day 7

Nothing but net!

Today we got to feed the dolphins on the beach at a place called Monkey Mia, though they didn’t pick me. That’s fine, I wouldn’t want to crush a 10 year old’s dream! I did get some cool photos of them. Then we go to go on a cruise catamaran and see Shark Bay. We were all on a boat and had champagne (as it was the cheapest thing to drink on the boat and we felt it necessary to celebrate surviving the outback). We got to briefly stop at an oyster station in the ocean which collects pearls. Some of the pearls they produced were worth over 6,000 dollars each! Some of the people got to try black pearl meat, which goes for something like 800 dollars per 2.2 lbs in Japan because it’s a power aphrodisiac (supposedly). I don’t think it worked, though. Who knows about those Japanese! After the boat ride we laid on the beach and relaxed. We also had some delicious fish and chips (fried fish and thick cut fries), the most common meal in Australia from what I can tell.

Day 8

The entire beach was made of shells

We moved camp to an old telegraph station built in the 1800s. It was near a protected beach full of stromatolites, the oldest living life form on the planet. Basically they are bacteria that form black rocks. The entire beach at this area was made completely of shells, which was neat to look at but painful if they got in your sandals. The ocean here was pretty pristine as well. It was a relaxing area to be in and we got some good photos of the sunset.

Day 9

The last sunset we say on our trip. I miss this place like you would not believe.

We moved camp to our final location, another wool shed. Immediately after setting up tents, I saw a giant black snake about 6 foot in length. It may or may not have been the most poisonous snake in Australia. We never got to see it again to find out, thankfully. At this location, we were told it used to be a convict work camp in the 1800s. We got to scale a giant hill to see the sunset as well as enter an old mansion at night. Nichole found a lantern from the 1800s with a candle still inside, and managed to get it lit. This was the highlight of her trip, she told me later. Personally, I enjoyed the beaches more!

Day 10
We loaded up for the final time and drove back. It was nice to finally take a hot shower!

So there you have it! Hope you enjoy the story and the photos!

5 February 2009

Chunk up the duece for the north and the south

I’m here! I’m alive. And everything so far has went smoothly. I got here for our orientation, teaching us about Aussie customs, etc. The lectures are pretty dry, but exploring Cairns has been fun. I got to see the rainforest and hold animals (and take touristy photos), and see the Great Barrier Reef for a day. Pretty exciting stuff. Tomorrow we fly to Perth to get settled at Murdoch.