The 10-Page Paper
A couple of nights ago, my roommate had a 10-page paper to write. She had spent hours and hours doing prep work for the paper -- making outlines, reading, pulling quotes, organizing her thoughts, etc. Around 1:30 am, she announced that she was going to bed for a couple of hours and would get up early and finish. I said good night and good luck and continued doing whatever it was I was doing (probably blogging), but what was going through my mind was, "Gosh. I hope she finishes . . . At this rate, she's gonna have to write 10 pages in 13 hours! That's a close call. A very close call."
It takes me at least an hour to write one page, and if it's the introduction? Fuhgedabouddit. That alone requires a couple of hours. The body of the content is easier to write, but it still takes the bulk of the time. The conclusion is by far the easiest, yet a lot of finesse is needed to pack a punch at the end. (I really hate cheesy -- and therefore usually meaningless -- last sentences.) All in all, I'd estimate that a 10-page paper takes me about 10 hours to write, and that's on the low end. This doesn't even include the amount of time I spend on prep. Why, just over a week ago, I had a 10-pager due, and it took me maybe 10-15 hours of prep and around a dozen to actually write the thing. But here's the kicker: I didn't even make it to 10 full pages.
As an English undergrad, I never, ever, ever (like everrrr) wrote on the high end of a range. The required length for most pages was 8-10 pages, and I was always somewhere around 7 and a half.* I'm just so dern laconic. It's kind of a problem, actually. I can't seem to shut up in person, yet on paper, I have an extremely difficult time putting words on a page. These blog posts I write? They're usually fairly short, but don't let that fool you -- they take hours to write. Hours. (Why I do this -- blog, that is -- is beyond the scope of this post.)
Imagine my surprise -- nay, shock -- when I heard Brooke's response to my question the following morning:
"What page are you on???"
"What time did you wake up?"
I think my eyeballs nearly fell out. She had written seven pages in five hours! Apparently, Brooke's writing style is not laconic. By 2:30 in the afternoon, she had written 12 pages and the bibliography. This is how I feel about it:
*Don't worry; my papers were so good that the professors didn't care about the length. ;)
Thing I'm thankful for: answered prayers