Monday, April 20, 2015

Writing a Paper

Pulling an all nighter to finish a paper? That's kids stuff. Try pulling an all dayer.

*I saw other people using gifs so I decided to go crazy with the gifs this time.

Warning: Don't try this at home.
 After giving up on my paper at 1am I finally decided to sleep. I woke up at 7am to continue. I took a break at 9 for a powernap and to get to office hours that started at 10am. Worked from 10:20ish am to 8:30ish pm only stopping to use the bathroom (Shannon brought donuts and Will ordered pizza so I ate as I worked). I took my second breif study break to head back to my apartment at 8:30 where I continues working till 11pm. Woke up today to finish the paper. 

As everyone will tell you start early!!!!

When they announce the paper and the requirements they make it seem simple, but as you start you realize it's a lot harder than you thought.

One thing that I hope helps is that you shouldn't think of it as writing in the style of a lab paper. You should think of it as writing a lab paper. You're actually writing a paper not writing something that looks like a paper. 

Hopefully by this point you've made friends in the class. Work with them! They will keep you focused and motivate you to keep working (even if they decide to buy very flat pizza)

Just kidding Will, the pizza was alright.

Like I said in my first blog post go to office hours and get help. This time I am adding that you should work in groups. Don't be worried that you barely have anything done and its the day before its due (because this will definitely happen to you). Everyone (except maybe that one overachiever who's always sitting in the front of the class) is in the same boat. This paper is tough and you can't do it alone. I walked in so lost but by the time I left it all made sense.

Just keep on working and eventually you will see the end of the tunnel. Finishing your mod 2 paper will feel like such a great accomplishment. After you finish you will feel like you can do anything.
Three final tips. 
1. Don't worry about the how you're going to get enough information to fill all the pages. With the amount of data you have to present, you should be worried about going over. If you hit a wall and get stuck, go for a walk or take a nap. There is no point sitting there staring at your computer when your brain won't make sentences.

2. Read the wiki. I went in to office hours one day with tons of questions on my mind one day. Shannon was busy at the time so I sat down and read the wiki. Almost all of my questions were answered before she even finished with the person she was talking to. You'd be surprise at how well they anticipate your questions and answer them before you ask.

3. Do not break your paper into each section in hopes of simply combining it together at the end. I did this and it makes it very hard to see how much progress you are actually making, Seeing your progress will be what keeps you motivated and keeps you pushing.

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