Academic Paper Assignment Sucks

Why Academic Paper Writing Sucks?

Think back to the last academic paper you had to write and chances are you can’t help cowering on your knees. Is there anything more painful than academic writing? Imagine this scenario: You were assigned to write a 3-7 page essay on technology. No worries. You brainstorm potential thesis statements. Easy enough. Then you sit down to sketch an outline. I can do this, you lie to yourself. Somewhere along the process of “planning,” you can’t resist the urge to get up and look out the window and walk downstairs and wolf down those Oreo cookies sitting provocatively on your table. Still don’t know what this is? It’s the writing process. Or, it’s what I’m prone to do before buckling down to tackle that Satan-spawned academic paper.

Do not Hate Academic Writing

This is how it goes: You make an ungodly effort to write the mind-numbing essay on technology, but words refuse to pour out. You bang your head against the desk and question the Creator’s mysterious ways, “Why are you forcing me to build a relationship with the essay?” And just when this slightly hysterical sideshow has sapped you of motivation,  you feel insecurity creeping in. Great. Just marvelous. I love essays. No, scratch that. I would love to write essays if they weren’t so denuded of creativity. Because what is writing, if not creative? Teachers love to worship the Schaffer paragraph. If I close my eyes, I can see it standing on a pedestal, neat rows of white candles line its marble bust, casting shadows over everything, while an army of pedagogues kneel before it, chanting gibberish. A hellish scene.

Get Fix All your Issues you Find

When our writing falls into a fixed structure, we turn away from the writing life. We regard it not as a fairly abstract form of art but as academic drawing and quartering. We must, at our professors’ behest, arrange our words like obedient soldiers marching down the page in neat military parade. Eck. Mind-dulling. Writing should be concise. The first sentence should meet our audience’s need for a particular information. But in academic writing, the thesis is cloaked among unnecessary adverbs and “hedge” statements. We sputter on page after page just to meet the requirement. Our thoughts veer off the page into more entertaining claptrap.

An Unqualified opinion is abundant and concrete evidence scarce. Formal writing is sometimes replaced by “text speak” (the new genre of writing characterized by the abbreviation of words), and we turn out something less than acceptable.

Read Again & Again Before Submit Paper

The importance of academic writing has been harped into us since an early age. Academic writing, the claim goes, makes for good writing. If there’s anything I’ve learned is this: People don’t want to read a ten-page report on the dangers of cyberspace. You shouldn’t want to write a ten-page report when you could simply compress the information into a few sentences. We should strive for concise writing, because that’s the best kind of writing there is. If you can express your main idea in two sentences, you’re someone I would want to keep reading.

Concisely we must write.