The 47 Stages of Writing a Paper

There’s no getting around the fact that sitting down to write a paper for class is as difficult as writing the essay. In college, when there is something happening constantly and your neighbors make as much noise as they humanly can at all hours of the day, you have a lot that can distract you from your academics. You need not worry, however. You’re not alone in your endless struggle to get your ideas from your brain to the paper. In addition to the stages of writing the actual paper, there are stages that every college student must undergo before he or she can sit down to write the assigned essay.

In short, it’s a lot more than outlining each paragraph you intend to write. It’s so much more than finding the sources you require or trying to figure out how to cite something properly. It’s about mustering the courage to sit yourself down in that uncomfortable wooden chair for the next three hours. It’s about manipulating your environment to make it the best possible writing experience. As all college students know, getting comfortable enough to do that in a dorm room is just about impossible.

Stage One: Turning Off All Of Your Electronics

You have to be focused on doing your school work. To do that, you need to cut all connections to the social world by turning your phone off and having your roommate hide it somewhere in the room.

Stage Two: Turning Off Your Roommate

While you love her to death, you must focus!

Stage Three: Turning Off Your Bodily Functions

You cannot be hungry, thirsty, have any urges to poop or be tired. You need to crack down and write the best paper ever. The only way to do this is to become like a robot.

Stage Four: Doing Your Laundry

Surely, the paper can wait. Who can do work when all of his or her clothes are dirty?

Stage Five: Grocery Shopping

You need to be an adult and get food for dinner. Even though you turned off your bodily functions–maybe walking around the freezer aisles will spark your essay-writing abilities?

Stage Six: Eating Everything Gladly In The Dining Hall

Slimy, cold chicken just tastes so much better when you have a paper due tomorrow.

Stage Seven: Going To The Gym

Stimulated body, stimulated mind, am I right?

Stage Eight: Confining Yourself To Your Dorm Room

After the gym, you are more than inspired to get down to business and to do work. Before you can do that, however, you need to be in your room.

Stage Nine: Showering Anyway

Writing a paper while smelling like rotten eggs isn’t an ideal way to work.

Stage Ten: Turning The Lights On And Off To Get A Decent Ambience

You have all of these lamps–you can absolutely find the perfect, inspiring amount of light for your writing necessities.

Stage Eleven: Migrating From Your Desk To Your Bed

Maybe you’ll work better if you’re super comfy in bed with your laptop?

Stage Twelve: Gluing Yourself To Your Desk Chair

Who are you trying to kid? You can’t do work in your bed.

Stage Thirteen: Opening Microsoft Word

Then taking a well-deserved break after doing so.

Stage Fourteen: Debating Whether You’ll Actually Write The Paper Or Manipulating The Punctuation Sizes Instead

Do you think your professor would check every period? That seems tiresome.

Stage Fifteen: Mustering The Strength To Lift Up Your Textbooks

You need to get your information somehow.

Stage Sixteen: Slamming Your Head Down On The Desk In Frustration

The textbook is just so boring.

Stage Seventeen: The Pen Decision

Blue? Black? Green? Purple? How can you possibly make this writing experience more bearable?

Stage Eighteen: The Header

Name, space. Date, space. Class, space. Professor’s name, space. Weather, space. Time, space. Assignment name, space.

Stage Nineteen: Actually Outlining The Paper

You can’t write a substantial paper without delineating what the f*ck you’re eventually going to write about.

Stage Twenty: Eating Everything In Sight On Your Bed

But on second thought, eating this entire bag of Cheez-It’s sounds so much more enjoyable.

Stage Twenty-One: Returning Back To Your Desk

Now that your hunger has been satiated, you can work properly.

Stage Twenty-Two: Crying

But after this good cry.

Stage Twenty-Three: Napping

And this nap.

Stage Twenty-Four: “Writing” The Paper

If you sit long enough in front of Microsoft Word, surely the words will magically appear on the screen.

Stage Twenty-Five: Tumblr

You wrote one sentence, you deserve an hour-long Tumblr break.

Stage Twenty-Six: Twitter

Who needs a phone for social media when you can just log-in via the Internet! The world is a wonderful place.

Stage Twenty-Seven: Making A Paper Writing Playlist For Later

For the future so this doesn’t happen again, you make a power playlist to get you through the struggles of writing a paper. Of course, you never use it because you end up making another one when writing yet another paper.

Stage Twenty-Eight: Okay, Actually Writing The Paper

Now that you’ve exhausted every possible procrastination option, you can begin to write this masterpiece.

Stage Twenty-Nine: Throwing Your Textbooks Across The Room

You know, on second thought, you never processed your true feelings towards your textbooks and assignments.

Stage Thirty: Calling Mom To Tell Her You’re Dropping Out

I’m sure she’s very proud of you.

Stage Thirty-One: Opening An Email To Your Professor Asking For An Extension

Surely he or she will be understanding of your plight to bash out a paper at one in the morning.

Stage Thirty-Two: Closing Said Email

On second thought…

Stage Thirty-Three: Screaming

Nope, you still have way too many feelings about writing this paper.

Stage Thirty-Four: Stretching Out Your Fingers

To type faster, you know?

Stage Thirty-Five: Coffee

To stave off any more hunger pangs and to wake up your mind that so desperately wants to go to bed.

Stage Thirty-Six: Walking Around Your Residence Hall For Inspiration

Perhaps if you get your blood flowing, you’ll find it easier to write your paper. Yeah, that’s it.

Stage Thirty-Seven: Really Gluing Yourself To Your Desk Chair

Break out the hot glue gun more like it.

Stage Thirty-Eight: Actually Finishing Your Paper

Conclusion paragraphs aren’t real paragraphs, anyway.

Stage Thirty-Nine: Summoning The Energy To Leave To Print Out Your Paper In The Library

The library is so far away.

Stage Forty: Going To Bed Instead

You’re tired–I understand.

Stage Forty-One: Panicking In The Morning Because You Didn’t Print Your Paper

When you wake up the next morning without a physical copy of your paper, you’ll be in a frenzy to say the least.

Stage Forty-Two: Running

You have to hand this paper in on time!

Stage Forty-Three: Tripping

Who put all of these stairs on the way to the library!?

Stage Forty-Four: Printing The Paper

Why are there so many f*cking people trying to print out things when you need the printer most!?

Stage Forty-Five: Getting To Class Late

The world is a cruel place.

Stage Forty-Six: Actually Handing In The Paper

This is like winning the gold medal in the Olympics.

Stage Forty-Seven to ???: The Subsequent Purgatory Weeks Waiting For Your Paper Grade Back

If you knew your professor was going to take three decades to grade this paper, you would have just handed your paper in late.

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