Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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?"
"4 o'clock."

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


Blogger jackie said...

You and I have the same page rate. I also average about a page per hour. Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

6:59 PM  
Blogger cardlady said...

Clever GIRL! Woman! I love your posts and your writings and musings!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Lyndel said...

I love your posts and regularly read your blog. Tonight as I found myself on your blog, Mike side glanced at the computer screen and asked incredulously if the name of the blog was really "Busty" nothings. Haha. He was impressed to say the least :)

This comment has nothing to do with the 10 page post but it made us laugh none the less. Busty or Busy... your blog still rocks :)

9:26 PM  
Blogger deeps said...

i guess writing blogs can make up for that.. :)

9:58 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Thanks, mom. :)

And thanks, Lyndel! For liking my blog, that is. As for the busty vs. busy comment -- it made me feel a little self-conscious, but I have to admit, it was funny. :)

12:54 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Hi Sara. I can write a page per hour too except the introduction. I like this "Don't worry; my papers were so good that the professors didn't care about the length." Thanks for sharing.

9:16 PM  

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