I find that when I just ramble and accidentally arrive at a conclusion, I get a B+ or an A-. So sometimes I use note cards to meticulously plan out what I'm going to write in the most succinct way possible, and I usually get a B+ or an A-. But then I've also spent 79 cents on note cards so I feel better about myself. Plenty of people have written papers on books they've never read. But to write a paper on a book you've never even seen that's the mark of a true professional. Why do professors still say 10-15 pages? Why can't they just say nine pages with five lines on the tenth page? Some people use font tricks like courier new or arial, or page tricks like margins or headings. I say the best way to add a line here and there is to be wordy where it counts. Find paragraphs whose last line extends near the end of the page and play around with synonyms until one word falls on the next line. Then use courier new and extend the margins. Getting caught plagiarizing is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. With all these online translating services we have now, translate the paper from English to German, then from German to French, and from French to English. Clean up the grammar, and it may as well be yours. Like this column? Then buy the book!