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  1. #31
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentleman Jack View Post
    Also if you can't dazzle teachers with insights, baffle them with bullshit
    There was a story circulating when I was in college, about a student who walked with a friend to the friend's exam and was still sitting next to him and chatting when the exams were handed out. It wasn't even his class, but he took the exam anyway - some history class I think it was, with an exam of mainly short answer and essay questions. He got a B, probably through employing your latter strategy.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  2. #32
    Senior Member phoenix31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentleman Jack View Post
    Also if you can't dazzle teachers with insights, baffle them with bullshit
    Oh man.... there have been so many times this semester when i should have bullshitted but I can't make myself do it. It's like I start trying to bullshit and then I just get nervous tics and decide that even if I have to work three extra days on the dumb assignment it's preferable to making up illegitimate nonsense and turning that in. That probably makes me super stupid lol.
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  3. #33
    A Bittersweet Symphony... Eryn Silverfrond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix31 View Post
    Oh man.... there have been so many times this semester when i should have bullshitted but I can't make myself do it. It's like I start trying to bullshit and then I just get nervous tics and decide that even if I have to work three extra days on the dumb assignment it's preferable to making up illegitimate nonsense and turning that in. That probably makes me super stupid lol.
    I don't think it makes you stupid. Not in the least. You'll always have your Gladiator name: Integritous.
    With all due respect,
    Eryn Silverfrond;
    of the Gentleman Jacks.


    We're all Faery Tales; after a fashion,
    Our stories unfolding around us...
    and through us...

    Our Sky Father and our Earth Mother are dancing.

    Life is a chrysalis.
    The dreams of butterflies cocooned in the womb of becoming.

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  4. #34
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Unless it's a forced group project, I would never use the group idea to write my papers. Never.

    I write much like Coriolis. Topic, then outline. Expand that to paragraphs with each point, no more than 25% directly quoted material, all the citations, references and so on for the draft. I go over it and make changes and when I'm satisfied, I format the paper properly and submit it.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member phoenix31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Unless it's a forced group project, I would never use the group idea to write my papers. Never.

    I write much like Coriolis. Topic, then outline. Expand that to paragraphs with each point, no more than 25% directly quoted material, all the citations, references and so on for the draft. I go over it and make changes and when I'm satisfied, I format the paper properly and submit it.
    I have nothing useful to add except that ceecee is always so concise and specific and it's

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Most undergrads don't write actual scientific papers, except for lab reports, which can get quite involved. Yes, the content is quite different from humanities or social science papers, which I mentioned briefly in my first post here. I still follow the same outlining and writing process, though. I do find these papers easier to write. I don't think a literature professor will be any more critical than one in sciences, though, the critique will just focus on different things.
    Actual scientific scholarly articles are often massive. Well, scholarly articles in general are often long due to the structure, necessary information to include, and citations. I remember the first time I had to read a 40 page psychological study, I was extremely intimidated by the length. It's not too bad though, the trick is keeping your mind focused.

    The same general writing principles do still apply to any field though, which is why writing skills are so important to develop. I think the most important skill to learn is how to express your point with clarity so it can be understood. Sometimes a concept or idea or conclusion can make sense in a person's head, but it will not make sense when articulated. This skill in general takes practice.

    That being said, a student will find that any college field will require a certain degree of rigor and critical thinking abilities. And there are a lot of various problems that can arise.

    I'll speak in terms of history since that is what I'm most familiar with. Sometimes a topic will be given to students, but other times in high level classes, the professor will have the students come up with their own research question. There are plenty of ways one can screw up here: asking a question with an answer, being too broad or too narrow, answering a question without ample available primary source information, answering a question not suitable for time constraints and page requirements, inserting bias into the question, etc. Then one can be tripped up by finding their own voice for the subject material and their own argument. Oh, and make sure you don't plagiarize yourself because that is apparantly a thing too. It's also important to think through and consider your own biases, gaps in the knowledge, and your own limitations (and these are good to acknowledge). Sometimes sources can also be a royal pain in the butt. For instance, running into a 17th century handwritten source that you can't read and there is no transcript available. I've encountered this. I'm not too shabby with older handwriting, but the early modern period has some of the worst scripts I've seen.

    Sources cannot be read at face value a lot of times either, which is another can of worms. Of course, professional historians have done this in the past. Let's jusy say their work has not aged well (ie historians writing that Native Americans really had no religion because the Europeans said so).

    I don't find it necessarily hard to achieve a high grade on a history paper, but I do see that it is a lot of work and a lot of things have to be taken into consideration at all times. Sometimes I am frankly not up to the level of attention and detail one needs. I do find the process rewarding.

    Now a student who goes on to do graduate school work will naturally encounter additional intensity of the above. I think most of these principles are applicable across fields.

    I'm also a chronic overachiever so that should also be though of.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix31 View Post
    Oh man.... there have been so many times this semester when i should have bullshitted but I can't make myself do it. It's like I start trying to bullshit and then I just get nervous tics and decide that even if I have to work three extra days on the dumb assignment it's preferable to making up illegitimate nonsense and turning that in. That probably makes me super stupid lol.
    No worries, I'm the same way. I suck at bullshitting.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Unless it's a forced group project, I would never use the group idea to write my papers.
    I had to write a group paper once. It was not a bad experience since I had a really great set of groupmates. However, our formatting was so inconsistent and it was so blatant who wrote what because of different stylistic choices. That was the worst part

  9. #39
    A Bittersweet Symphony... Eryn Silverfrond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    I had to write a group paper once. It was not a bad experience since I had a really great set of groupmates. However, our formatting was so inconsistent and it was so blatant who wrote what because of different stylistic choices. That was the worst part
    I would ask for past papers, so I could model after their style , plus I always made sure they had time to read it over should they need to answer follow ups. I enjoyed group projects. Opportunities to network, and facilitate future opportunities for success. It was a win win win ime. Picking a good group is a big part of it though.
    With all due respect,
    Eryn Silverfrond;
    of the Gentleman Jacks.


    We're all Faery Tales; after a fashion,
    Our stories unfolding around us...
    and through us...

    Our Sky Father and our Earth Mother are dancing.

    Life is a chrysalis.
    The dreams of butterflies cocooned in the womb of becoming.


  10. #40
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    Actual scientific scholarly articles are often massive. Well, scholarly articles in general are often long due to the structure, necessary information to include, and citations. I remember the first time I had to read a 40 page psychological study, I was extremely intimidated by the length. It's not too bad though, the trick is keeping your mind focused.

    The same general writing principles do still apply to any field though, which is why writing skills are so important to develop. I think the most important skill to learn is how to express your point with clarity so it can be understood. Sometimes a concept or idea or conclusion can make sense in a person's head, but it will not make sense when articulated. This skill in general takes practice.
    Scientific papers in my field are generally less than 10 pages, often a limit placed by the publishers themselves, though plenty of longer papers do exist. I am excluding theses and dissertations here, as well as book chapters and review papers, which are longer.

    You are right about the general writing principles. Unfortunately I find many papers in my field to be poorly written, though the scientific content is sound and worthwhile. Often this is because English is not the first language of the authors. I can sympathize, as I would be hard put to write a technical paper in another language. It is not hard, though, to find a colleague who is a native or more proficient speaker, who can review your paper for language. I often do that for colleagues.

    I find people are even worse, though, at giving oral presentations, probably because they get less practice at it. Being able to present to a group is a valuable skill in many professions.

    Quote Originally Posted by LucieCat View Post
    I had to write a group paper once. It was not a bad experience since I had a really great set of groupmates. However, our formatting was so inconsistent and it was so blatant who wrote what because of different stylistic choices. That was the worst part
    The only group papers I ever had to do in school were lab reports. That was OK since the content was quite straightforward and the work easy to divide up. I am very picky about writing, though, so usually want to do the last edit before handing it in.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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