Got Papers? Some Tips to Maintain Your Sanity (And Your Career Dreams)

Not really advisable. Read on for healthier options. (image source:

Not really advisable. Read on for healthier options. (image source:

Ok, so we’re less than 48 hours away from, well, you know, and you’re feeling a little concerned. Well, perhaps anxious. Or maybe you’re just downright freaking out. But never fear! While the “you’re not alone” argument can only go so far, our friends over in Cambridge have come out with a far more practical panacea to calm the masses (and no, it’s not one of those free, magical, online essay machines–we do have an Honor Code, guys).

The Barker Underground, the official blog of the Harvard Writing Center, has plenty of tips and tricks that come in handy for the frenzied student writing final papers. So if you don’t have time to make an appointment with Princeton’s own Writing Center (and let’s face it, who does at this point?), you may want to check out some of the tips that Harvard has to offer.

For example, you may find yourself in a situation suited by the post entitled “The Nuclear Option: How to Write a Paper the Night Before It’s Due” by Sam Berman-Cooper (an 8-tip checklist for writing a paper in 12 hours that includes a comprehensive schedule, complete with naps and snack time), or perhaps by the one called “How to Critique an Author Who’s Smarter than You” by Emily Hogin (a list of dos and don’ts for analyzing secondary sources).

The blog also provides some useful templates for paper types such as the lens essay, as well as tips on style and quote use, making it an all-around useful guide to students seeking paper-writing tips.

And, in the words of Samuel Berman-Cooper, if all else fails and you’re just feeling hopeless, remember this: “It may be that you can still get a good grade. Even if you can’t, just think how many assignments you are going to do here in four years. One average grade won’t kill you (or your chances of making mad bank).”

There it is, Princeton. Even if you have to load up on Red Bull shots to get that last paper finished, your struggle will not be in vain. You can still make “mad bank,” even if the future of Goldman Sachs is looking a little iffy.