By Mike Trapp
The All Nighter Term Paper
9:00 PM: We see a screenshot of a computer screen. Word is open on the screen with the following text:
Title of the Paper:
Longer Sub-Headline Using Unnecessarily Long Words and the Word “Modern.”
Respected Scholar, who has been studying in this field for longer than I have been alive, once made the claim “An idea that has been generally accepted as true by respected professionals within my field for the past 30 years (CorrectCitation 42).” Though mountains of evidence exist to support this claim, this paper will look at a few unconvincing modern examples in hopes of questioning this idea and appearing iconoclastic in an academically admirable way. I will not, at this point in the paper, claim Respected Scholar is wrong for fear of pissing off the professor, and will instead be calling my paper an “investigation” or similar nonsense. By the end I will conclude that Respected Scholar is probably right after all, but that healthy debate is important in any field. This opening paragraph did not require many citations or much research, so I was able to type it up pretty quickly, and I feel pretty confident I will finish earlier than expected.
10:00 PM: Word is still open, but there’s also a little iTunes player in the corner playing the song (Distracting Music that You Claim Helps You Think)
As I begin writing the actual meaty part of my essay, I’m starting to realize how long this will take (Main Source 56). I wasn’t taking good notes while I was researching, and now I can’t remember where I got my facts (Main Source 58). To try to hide this, most of my information is coming from one source (Main Source 59). After realizing that I have cited the same source three times in a row, I will try to make my research look more varied by citing some common knowledge from some other place (Bullshit Source 12). Perhaps most troubling is that I can’t remember where one of the best examples came from, but I KNOW I read it somewhere. I will write down how I remember it and make a note to find the correct citation later (???). I will not remember to do this by the end of the night.
11:00 PM: The internet is open with a bunch of tabs: Reddit, Facebook, Tumblr, CollegeHumor if we want to suck our own dicks. You can still kind of see the essay in the window underneath. Facebook status reads “Just taking a quick break! I totally deserve it even though I’ve only written a paragraph” Other friends have statuses like “Doing something way more fun than writing a paper” “Yay! Finished all my exams, I’m gonna PARTY!” links to articles like “Does writing papers make you impotent” and pictures of people having fun.
11:30 PM: Back to the essay. It is scrolled down so the previous last line is now at the top of the page.
I have rewritten this one sentence twenty times in the last 30 minutes.
11:32 PM: More internet nonsense. YouTube window with video titled “Cat Hits Guy in the Balls (Gangnam remix). There’s a shit ton of tabs open.
12:30AM : Wikipedia is open. The Wikipedia Title page Reads “Relevant Topic.” Some of the words are hyperlinks. It looks like a Wikipedia page. In the corner is an IM window conversation.
Friend: How’s the paper coming? You gonna make it out tonight?
You: Oh, um, we’ll see. I’m a little behind, but I should be fine.
Relevant Topic is a piece of information that is actually useful for your current goal of finishing this damn paper. If you have only just realized how much time you wasted on stupid websites, this is actually a good way to remember where you left off in the paper, remind yourself of certain key points, and generally get you back on track.
Relevant topic is also very tangentially related to slightly interesting thing. Slightly interesting thing is only slightly more interesting than whatever the topic of your paper is.
[cursor hovers over the link to “slightly interesting thing”]
1:00 AM: We are now on the Wikipedia page for the 1991 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: the Secret of the Ooze.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is a page that you have somehow landed on by following a series of Wikipedia links. It is the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, and is in no way related to the paper you are supposed to be writing. You should probably stop reading this and just get to work, but let’s be honest, wouldn’t you rather learn that the actor who played Shredder also played Pierre Chang in LOST. You don’t believe me, do you?
2:00 AM: Netflix takes up the whole screen. It is playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze. We see shredder. There is an IM window in the corner.
You: Hey, did you know that Shredder and Pierre Chang are the same dude?
Girlfriend: Who? Are you writing your paper? I thought you said you’d be done by now.
2:30 AM: The word document is open. All other windows are closed. We see the last sentence he has written.
After procrastinating for several hours I have completely lost my train of thought (add Citation Later). I am going to just type out some notes I made from my research in loosely connected sentences (add Citation Later). Just a load of word vomit. As I start to get sleepy, I also notice that I’m mrore prone to tpypos (add Citation Later). I’m going to down acoupeld of red Bulls to try to get me throuhg this.
4:00 AM: We’re now on page 6 of the paper.
more energy drinks than I should have. I’ve blastd through a bunch of pagse with help from my awesome friend “block quotes”:
“Block quotes are a perfectly legitimate way to stretch this paper out. Isn’t it amazing how someone before me has already stated the very thought I want to make. It’s a shame this guy is so long winded; I guess I’ll just have to quote everything he says.”
Im not sleepy anymore but I ahave notived that all theis caffeing is making me jittery and I’m still makin a lto fo typos. Not ime to fix them now. I’[ll go back later.
5:00 AM: Facbook again. Status reads “I can’t believe how long this paper is taking.” Friends statuses: “Can’t believe what an AMAZING night this was. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life” “Here’s a video of me rocket-skiing over the Quendleton Gorge!” “Did everyone see that orgy on the quad?”
8:00 AM: Page 9 of the essay.
In conclusion, my roommate just came home from a crazy night out and found me passed out with my paper still open on my computer. He thinks it would be very funny to add multiple references to the Illuminati and use find-replace to find all instances of a very common word and replace it with the word “poop.” STEPHEN SUCKS! QUENDLETON FOOTBALL RULES! This poop going to be hilarious.