OT: Paperwriting procrastination

I doan wanna write these papers!!! I have three 6-10 p essays to write by Sunday eve, and I have them all past the outline stage, to the filling in the body stage. This is the big scary nasty weeklong comp exam for my master’s degree, and my mind is revolting against doing any more on these. I’ve GOT TO, or I FAIL and don’t get my degree.

But nothing’s working to whip me onwards!


Castigate me for being such a slacker! Encourage me to get off my lazy ass! Find the words to tell me what an ungrateful evil person I am for not being thankful I can get my degree if I just finish these papers!!!

I have 1000 words, 750 words, and 1800 words. They should all be between 1500 - 2500. Need lots of polishing, citations, and I’m rebelling!!!

Any English teachers/writers who have advice for making me focus?



I recently finished my degree and teaching credential. All I can say is the end is very difficult.

Maybe finish one paper, go buy a yarn, finish another, more yarn, etc.

Good luck! You’re almost there!!! :thumbsup:

I hate writing papers, too, and when I was in college I always saved them until the last minute. My only advice is to promise yourself a nice treat and think about how relieved you’ll feel when they’re done. Good luck - you can do it! :thumbsup:

I’m in a similar situation. I have my PhD thesis to write… 6 years of work that I have to summarize in 200 pages… and I must finish it by the end of the summer. :doh:

We can do it, sister! :thumbsup:

I think you have found the treasure trove of last minute paper writers. I too always waiting until the very last minute to write my papers. Sometimes pulling all nighters to get it done. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. I am a teacher, so I should have more ideas for you, but you can’t mess with destiny and I am a procrastinator till the end!

I have to do a fair amount of writing for work, so I can definitely relate to your dilemma. I don’t know about you, but I personally find it much easier to edit something (even – maybe especially – if it’s really poorly written) than to stare at a blank screen waiting for the muses to visit. So one thing you might try is to just start typing. Don’t worry about how well your prose is crafted and try to avoid proofing as you progress – just get the important points down, even if you feel like you’re using the simplest, most uninspired sentences, and even if you don’t feel like you’re expressing yourself very coherently. (You Tarzan. Me Jane.) You can then rework, re-organize – even butcher – your draft. YMMV, but for me, it’s somehow easier for the right words to present and organize themselves once I’ve seen the wrong words written down. (You may also surprise yourself by finding that your draft is not half bad!)

P.S. I really like the yarn reward idea too! :thumbsup:

It sounds like you already have the hard part behind you (the research and outline.) Just relax and finish them. The words will come once you start.

Thanks for the encouragement, ladies! You should be aware that my “reward” for progress is checking this site (and other blogs)

I am SO bad about leaving papers to the last minute, but the format of this exam is against me, so I’ve worked hard to keep a last-minute panicky allnighter from happening on Sunday evening.
I have three essays to write, each 1500-2500 words, to include citations from authoritative literature (blech!). I have outlines and sources, and some papers substantially written except for polishing and cite-checking (Paas, p.???- format in APA style!!!) but I also have some sources that need to be found still, and some sections which need sources attached. Blargh. The questions to pick from were published Monday, so I had a day to pick three questions, a day find sources, a day to write outlines, a day to get some rough composition on each of them, and today I felt stuck. So after I posted, I just took the crap I have so far and printed it out, then read it aloud to determine where I need to go from here.
I only have a week to do this, and I couldn’t have started writing before Monday. This is SO WRONG! But it’s the requirement, and I knew about it when I started the program, it’s just that I am having a breakdown of self-discipline when I need it most.

I think I’m in good shape, but I keep beating myself up for not having gotten it done already, when I’m really doing quite well to have actual stuff written before the weekend (it’s due Monday morning at oh-dark-thirty) We have a communications blackout with our fellow classmates in this exam and the committee who wrote the q’s and will be grading us, (which makes sense) but I so need an outlet to vent and carp and whine and get advice and encouragement. Thanks for being there for me ladies!

Once I finish this exam, I have a big tasty snack of yarn splurging and reading Jacqueline Carey’s newest Kushiel book planned. Oh, and getting some black, worsted-weight angora/mohair/reallyreallysoft yarn for a pair of wrist-warmers for my bestfriend from Last Minute Gifts. I was knitting a pair in green wool for my first admissions success as an alum interviewer to my alma mater (the school is in New Hampshire) and my friend said, “GIMME!” so now we get to go to the yarn store and she’ll buy the yarn for her pair. Yahoo!!!

okay back to the grindstone


Ahhh, APA style… I remember it well… I think I still have my beloved manual somewhere. Of course it’s probably gone through a few more editions since I was in school a few… ahem… years ago… :rollseyes:

So geez, Emily, they gave you a week to do three papers? :shock: If you don’t mind me saying so, you’re not the one with the procrastination problem! Seriously, though, you’ve obviously done a good deal in the short time you’ve had. (To me, procrastinating means having a month to do something and not getting seriously started until a couple days before it’s due!) Given your time frame, it definitely sounds like you’re in good shape, as you said. Good for you for having so much discipline. Hang in there and remember to take lots of ice cream breaks. It helps, I swear!

Oh yeah, we must be kindred spirits!!! My dissertation prospectud is due on Sunday, and I just finished it tonight :shock: Granted the outline has been done for nealy 4 weeks, but I just decided last night to get moving on it (esp since I’m leaving for vacation on sunday morning!)

My entire master’s degree I was pretty good about getting papers done over the course of several weeks/days. Sine I started my doctorate, I never start my papers–all of which are at LEAST 20 pages–until 2 days before they’re due. I think the worrying and fretting over the time crunch helps me process.

If it works for you, don’t try to change
Drink coffee
Take a 10 minute break every hour
Turn off the ringer on the phone
Don’t surf KH while writing!!!

I bought a laptop computer last summer, so I woul dhave a place to keep my degree stuff, and said I wasn’t going to use ot for anything BUT research, writing papers, etc… well, I actually use the laptop for all of my leisure activities now, and use the desktop for “research”, but it still served the same purpose. I also think that having a certain place to do your work is important… If I have to use my “play” computer for school work, I sit in the dining room instead of the living room or office.

Good luck! I am a master at APA, so feel free to email me your papers if you need a proof reader.

Okay, they’re done! Whoopie!

Thank you, all (I have to correct my oopsie above of saying “ladies”, cuz that’s NOT COOL, I know of some awesome guy knitters) for putting up with my epics. I lurk lots, and only occasionally post. When I do, it’s like a tidal wave!

I am now THISCLOSE to getting my master’s degree in library science. I do have another course this term to finish up, and I won’t get my essay exam results until August.

Do you think I should knit a frame for my diploma?

: )

emily, who thinks Hildie’s divine!