The procrastinator's guide to writing a term paper | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 05, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:20 PM, October 05, 2017

The procrastinator's guide to writing a term paper

I'm sure if I had to pick between finishing my due assignments after having eight hours of sleep and going to class with bloodshot eyes with a coffee in my hand after pulling off an all-nighter, hands down I will go for the second one. There's something about the frenzied deadline-induced panic that improves my ability to take on pressure, or at least that's the excuse I give myself for not doing my work on time. Being the procrastinator that I am, I'd probably procrastinate if I had to write an essay on procrastination and wait until the last hour. These are some of the guidelines that I follow that I think might help people who are almost as good at procrastinating like me:  

Promise yourself to not procrastinate this time and wait until the deadline: I know we've all been there, but promising yourself this is the most crucial part. I've always wondered if it's just me who had “no procrastination” in her constant new year's resolution list that never got achieved, or does that happen to everyone at some point? Tell it to yourself once more and then wait till the deadline approaches. At first, the four-week deadline seems more than enough to write term papers for all the courses, but being the lazy person you are, procrastinate till there are 24 hours left. Wait till it dawns on you that 20% of your grade depends on this.

Dig out outlines: Now you have less than 24 hours and you know you're going to waste 3/4th of it away by thinking about why these things happen to you instead of actually getting to work but start with reading the instruction handout. 

Binge watch a series (NOT): Now that you know how to write the paper, the first thing you'd want to do is to reward yourself. Although this might seem like the most alluring thing to do, re-watching that episode of The Office for the fifth time is not going to help you when you're failing the course. 

Research: Get down to business and collect information from all the sources you can manage, be it google or paraphrasing another term paper. Use terms like “dynamic team synergy” to reach word limit and to make it sound like you've put a lot of thoughts and time in it. Cut ties with friends who refuse to send pictures of their assignments that they finished a week ago. They don't deserve to be your friend anyway. 

Recheck instructions: This is the step where you find out that you've overlooked a lot of steps the professor required and there's little time left for you to cover all of those, so you decide to go with just a few major points. This is also the step where you mistakenly don't save the only copy you used to write a 2000-word essay on, so beware!   

After a generous of self-loathing, and a few episodes of The Office too, an eerie sense of calmness comes over you and you finish the assignment on time. But you swear to yourself to not procrastinate ever again, only to wait until the next term paper comes along and you realise you've did it once again.

Aateeya Saabeen, who scarily resembles a koala in looks and in sleeping patterns, likes to take day-long walks with her lobster. She believes her Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail because they misspelled her name. Leave her a message at

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