Research and Procrastination

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I’m taking an Instructor Methodology class through work and the local community college. I have a paper due by Sunday midnight, I work fri-sat-sunnight (sunnight is, too, a word. Or it should be, for us night shifters) so basically I need to finish the paper today. And I’m procrastinating.

Usually, I love research papers. I LOVE research. Writing comes pretty easily for me (probably thanks to all those whiny, angst filled diaries in middle school) and after surviving an English BA from Penn State I’ve gotten better at correctly citing my sources and avoiding comma splices. I have two issues with this paper.

One: I don’t have access to a good library. I was spoiled at Penn State. Not only was the libray enormous but it was within walking distance of all of my classes and the reading rooms stayed open till 3 am. Yes, I was often kicked out of the library as they closed. One of the reasons I loved research papers is they gave a direction and a goal to research. I could, and sometimes did, just browse books for my own entertainment, but I always got a lot more out of them if I had something to search for. Not everything you research for a paper ends up in the paper, and I loved that. I learned so much through research, it remains one of my favorite things to do. I would wander through the stacks, happily searching for the one book I’d looked up in the CAT and grab all the surrounding books that looked interesting. I got pretty darn good at navigating all those wonderful online datebases full of published articles, too. I still remembering being dumbfounded when my little sister called me late in her college career and discovered she had never used her university’s online datebase. I teased her about it, of course, but the nerd in me was thinking, “Aww, you poor thing, you’ve really missed out on a lot of fun!” I’m pretty lame, I know, but I’m ok with it.

Two: The paper is supposed to be 3 pages double spaced. 3 pages! The article review I just did for the class was almost 3 pages double spaced and I was trying really hard to be brief. I suck at short writing pieces, they irritate the crap out of me. I can hardly justify this being a research paper when I’m only given 3 pages in which to maneuver. How am I supposed to delve into anything vaguely interesting or satisfying when I have to come up with a thesis that can be summed up well written within 3 pages? He gave us a font size, too (12) so I can’t even squeeze in an extra paragraph that way. Yes, I was that student who always asked for the “max” on a paper. I admit, there is merit to learning how to concisely formulate ideas and express opinions… but I can concisely express a lot more in 14 pages than I can in 3! Hrmph. This makes me grumpy. I understand the time constraints (we have a week to write it) makes a longer paper kind of mean for an instructor to assign, and that I am a weird breed to enjoy writing lengthy research papers, but the fact remains I really hate writing short pieces. I don’t even like reading/writing short stories-they always leave me unsatisfied.

So, because I’m super irritated about trying to hunt down available articles online through google and because I’m bad at writing short pieces I am procrastinating working on this paper. I decided blogging about my reasons for procrastinating was some how a more noble form of procrastination than, say, deciding it was imperitive that I brush Remus’s teeth and, and…do all the dishes, and, uh, reorganize the closet! Yes! I should do those things too before I start this paper!

Sigh. I’m going to try really hard to locate at least two peer reviewed articles before I do anything else. Then Remus is probably getting his teeth brushed.

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