Writing a scholarly (there’s that word again) research paper can be likened to pulling one’s own perfectly good teeth and/or banging one’s own perfectly good head against a perfectly good wall. It is self-mutilation in honor of academia, if you will. It hurts. Like the dickens. And it’ll cost a pretty penny to fix the hole in that wall.
I must enjoy pain. But that’s another post for another time.
I have a deadline for this paper. I hate deadlines. I hate being told what to do. I’m a bit of a loner and take pride in marching to my own little drummer. My little drummer takes her own sweet time when marching, and I seriously have no control over that. I have one speed: Not fast. Deadlines are never welcomed, not always met and frequently fretted over and the cause of many a nervous breakdown. I wouldn’t have first-hand knowledge of that last symptom, however.
At least not yet.
The research study paper begins, of course, with a Title Page. This is a complete waste of paper, the killing of a tree, like saluting the environment with a big ‘Fuck You’. It’s just wrong. The Title Page consists of a title, a date and the author’s name, all centrally positioned on a big white boring page. However, I am all about pleasing Professor so I comply.
There go the nation’s forests. Don’t blame me. I have a ‘thing’ for getting A’s. I must get an A in this writing project. I simply must. So kill a tree? Absolutely. Miss the deadline? Usually not an option. Bang my head and pull my teeth? I’m into pain, remember?
After the Title Page is the first page, which begins with something called an Abstract. The abstract is not to be confused with the Introduction, which must also be included, but comes right after the abstract. Here’s where I take issue, people. In said abstract, I must summarize my overall intentions for the research paper in the first place. So, I ask you, what’s that leave for the Introduction?
“Hello, my name is Theresa and I am writing this research paper to provide proof of my innocence. I have the right to remain silent….” Oh wait, I fell asleep there for a sec. That doesn’t quite fit, does it? So what does fit? I never did like introductions anyway. Maybe I’ll just throw that section out. Maybe Professor won’t notice if I bribe him with a virtual apple or better yet, a virtual BJ or something. I’m willing to try anything. Although I’m really out of BJ practice, quite honestly. And then there’s the whole gag reflex thing. Ugh. Serious lesbian nightmare material.
But I digress.
And the plot thickens.
Next you have to provide something called a Literature Review. Believe me when I tell you that this section is not nearly as romantic as it sounds. We writers think of ‘literature’ as something readable and get our warm-fuzzies on just thinking about it. This is not that kind of literature, people. The literature review is comprised of brief but thorough explanations for each and every piece of research information covered for your research project. It’s a bitch is what it is.
Right about now, you’re either sipping your wine and wondering what the hell I’m babbling on and on about.
OR you’ve fallen asleep and your wine is now warm. Make sure to wipe that drooly stuff off your face. Not attractive.
OR you’re thinking a literature review sounds a lot like a Bibliography. You would be right on all counts: the babbling, drooling and the bibliography. So go ahead and get a refill on that wine. I’ll join you.
So what I’ve figured out so far is that research study reports are so freaking large because you have to formulate your research info into several different sections, thus saying virtually the same damned thing over and over again, only mixing the words around for a more scholarly effect.
Kinda shines the old term, “educated idiot” in a whole new light, doesn’t it?
And? By the time I’m finished with this program and obtain that coveted Masters Degree, I will owe a whole bunch of money. Again, ‘educated idiot’ anyone? I can see how that might be perceived.
So, boys and girls, what have we learned today? We learned some new words, or at least some new definitions for old words, right? Let’s define some terms now, shall we?
- Deadlines. Make you do things. Bad things. Because you gotta get an A.
- Head-banging and Teeth-pulling. Normal daily workout for Grad students.
- Wine induced coma. A beautiful dream of school break and happier times. All you need is enough wine to get you there.
- Educated idiot. Yours truly. And getting more so with each passing second.
- Masturbation…..err, I mean Masters Degree. There’s no time for the former. Sadly.
- Virtual bribery. Apple, BJ, sexting, cash, jewelry, first born. (See number 1)
Turns out, there’s a whole lot more to this freaking fancy paper than the sections I have described above, too numerous and too boring to mention. I’ve been plugging away all day on this mutha-effing report, and now I’m enjoying blogging, reading some blogs and drinking some wine. I’ll finish the thing tomorrow. Deadline? Oh, that was yesterday. I’m late. And I’m handling it pretty well, don’t you think?
I sent my “apple” off to teacher. I’ll still get an A.
Just kidding! Cheers!
(Image by Google Images)