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: The paper's done. I just have to whip up a bibliography for it and print it out. Word count: 2038. (What the?!) Wow. First time in a long time that my paper has not been shorter than the recommended minimum length.

I'm actually pretty happy about the way this paper turned out. That can't be a good sign. I probably degraded into all sorts of sophistry in the paper. But I'll pass the class regardless of what happens (I have an A- average on the midterms, which counts for 60% of the class, so even if I get a C on the final I'll get a B in the class).

Woohoo! I'm done!

Tip to students: How can I be so confident that I'll get at least a C on this paper, even if the arguments are terrible?

  1. I answered the question. My paper has the following form: "The question is this. I answer it thusly. Here is my reasoning. All that reasoning was to justify my {positive,negative,whatever} answer to the question." All your papers should have this form. The thing foremost in the professor's (or the grader's, if it's a lower division course) is "Does this paper answer the question?" If they think "no", you're screwed. If they think "yes", there are enough "no" people that coming out on top of them means getting a pretty decent grade.
  2. I put in some arguments and suggestions bringing in stuff we didn't talk about in class at all. Professors like this because it relieves the boredom of grading papers by giving them new stuff to think about, and since we didn't cover it in class they're more lenient about whatever flaws in your logic there might be. Maybe.
  3. I write well.

I make no guarantees. All I can say is that this has worked for me consistently through four years of college, nine paper-writing classes, and about 25 papers.

Let me reiterate: Woohoo! I'm done!

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