"....And before you all go, I'd just like to remind you that your term papers are due next time we meet. No fewer than twenty pages, remember! This is worth a quarter of your final grade, so take it seriously!" You professor proceeds to glare fiercely at your classmates, as they chat amongst themselves and pack their things up.
Very few of them take note, and even fewer really care.
...You, however, are on the verge of panic. Since, you know. This is literally the first time you've ever heard of this paper at all.
...And holy shit, if you lose that many points off your grade, your scholarship's sunk. ...And if you lose your scholarship, and end up having to go home...
'Literal murder' would probably be a good description of your family's reaction. They never were very accepting of failure. To say the least.
Your head strikes the surface of your desk with a loud thud, as you take a moment and allow your self-pity to consume you. You're going to need to go on the run. Change your name, leave the country, maybe work on a freighter for a while. As long as you don't use your real name, and switch ships a couple times, it'll be pretty hard to track you down. Maybe one day, they'll stop looking for you...
"...Um, are you alright?" A concerned voice breaks into your reverie, as your father's agents finally locate your new family, living under an assumed name.
"...what?" You ask, dully, lifting your face to meet the worried gaze of your professor.
"...No, I don't think you are." She surmises, eying the lump where you struck your head. "...It's the paper, isn't it? Having trouble?"
"...Yeah." Let's go with that. You're having trouble with the paper, sure.
"...Tell you what." She decides, "I'm going to treat you to a meal, and we can talk it out. What do you say?" She grins. "You're one of my best students, so as your teacher, I want to help you out, okay?"
...Well, that's at least a boost to your self-esteem. Even if your professor is six years younger than you, she's a well-known genius. To hear this sort of thing from her helps at least get you back on your metaphorical feet.
...So it looks like you'll be missing a few classes over the next couple of days, but you can afford it. You're ahead of the game, everywhere but here, apparently. ...You'll need to stock up on coffee.
"That would be nice, Professor Okazaki." You give her a smile. You can do this. You have three days! Plenty of time, as long as you can avoid despair! And thanks to her offer, you've avoided the first trap, at least!
At least this isn't an experimental course. You'd be well and truly fucked if it were.
Taking advantage of her offer, what should you look for help with?
[ ] Sources! What she comes up with here will give you a good idea of what to look for! [ ] Concepts! Talk in broad strokes! Get those ideas flowing, and you can handle the rest! [ ] Motivation. This is certainly the greatest challenge, after all.
[x] Concepts! Talk in broad strokes! Get those ideas flowing, and you can handle the rest!
If you're the "star student", surely you know how to find sources, once you know what you're writing. And as soon as things start looking up, the motivation will come. Nothing motivates a drowning man like seeing a ship on the horizon.
>open this to start writing >Nintendo E3 happens >This sits here judging me for days
You're soon seated in a booth, at the front of a small restaurant, just off campus. You order something light, and Professor Okazaki gets straight to the point.
"So! What seems to be the problem? Get stuck? Run out of sources? Haven't even got a topic yet?" If you were better at controlling your expression, you probably wouldn't have just given up the game, right there. "...Oh? Really?" She seems unsurprised. That sort of hurts.
You can't help but look a bit sheepish, as you avoid making eye contact.
"...Yeah." You admit. "It kind of...snuck up on me, and..."
"And you're totally unprepared, I getcha." Does she really need to be like that? "Well, you don't need to worry too much. The library's pretty well stocked with references, so the most important thing you need to consider is what exactly you're writing your paper on."
The two of you discuss the concepts she'd like to see in the papers, and although something seems a little off about the topics, you can't quite put your finger on it. You've covered most of the ground you were hoping to when sudden motion out of the corner of your eye grabs your attention.
...Oh. The two of you seem to have been spotted. It's the girl you've been helping with her classwork. She's waving, so she's definitely recognised you.
Professor Okazaki follows your glance outside.
"Oh! It's Renko!" She waves back. "Have you met? Probably not, since you're a couple years apart..."
...Is she serious? She knows Renko too? ...She couldn't be the professor that Renko's always complaining about, could she? Unfortunately, it looks like she's on her way over to greet you. She's always so touchy, with her hugs and her lack of personal space...it's kind of annoying.
Sure enough, she comes right up to your booth, sliding in next to you to give you a quick hug. You refuse to encourage her by reacting. She has got to be doing this to get on your nerves, and you won't give in.
"'Sup, teach~!" She nods across the table "Professor." She greets both of you.
"Renko!" Professor Okazaki smiles. "I finished going over your last paper, you're doing much better!" ...She is Renko's great foe, huh.
"...Aw, it's just 'cause teach here's such a big help." She says, clapping a hand on your shoulder. "He never has any trouble explaining something for me." ...The atmosphere's certainly taken quite the turn, huh. Despite the two girls' smiles, there's a definite sense of danger in the air.
"So, are you dating, or what?" Renko practically demands, and you choke. Glancing at your watch, you think fast.
"Renko, doesn't that club you've been wanting to join meet any minute now?" She won't shut up about it, most days.
"What?!" She grabs your wrist to check your watch. The sad part is, you reflect, you're used to it. "Shit, I've gotta run! I said I'd be there today! See ya 'round, teach!" And thank goodness, she leaves.
"...So you're the tutor she's been talking about, huh?" Your professor seems dreadfully amused. She eyes you for a long, uncomfortable moment. "Yeah, I can see it." She nods, satisfied.
"...I don't think I want to know." You decide. Your meals are pretty quickly finished off. "...I think that's about it, Professor, thanks for your help. And the meal." She waves it off.
"Don't worry about it, don't worry about it." She grins. "But the clock's ticking, so hurry up~"
She's right, you know.
[ ] To the Library first. [ ] Head home for your laptop, you'll just hole up in the library for a couple days. [ ] Head for the convenience store. You need coffee and noodle cups.
[x] Head home for your laptop, you'll just hole up in the library for a couple days.
Use Google Scholar to do a quick literature search. Skim abstracts for relevance and download anything useful to read in more detail later.
Know your topic, then very broadly define what you want to look at. For your intro, explain why it's relevant and significant, then outline what parts of the topic you'll cover in the paper. Those serve as section headers, which should be organized so each has relevance to the one before and after it. Avoiding harsh transitions makes the big picture easier to grasp. In each, summarize the references you pulled, then show why they're relevant to that big picture.
Conclusion should briefly recap on how each section supports that main idea, which should be restated for clarity. Since we're not in an experimental course, there's no need for a future work section, so after that is just the references. Make sure they're formatted consistently, and quadruple check for typos! Get friends to do that too if you can, since they will always be there and always show up.
Once a work has been published, it is considered a genuine intellectual property. When you reference without citing something that you have published, that is called self-plagiarism.
For example, I publish a research paper about the intellectual comprehension of dolphins. I later go on to do a research paper about the intellectual comprehension of sea urchins, and I make some references to the previous paper. But as it turns out, I haven't cited what those references are. Depending on how strict they are about plagiarism, the administration can resort to measures like expulsion or civil charges.
[x] Head home for your laptop, you'll just hole up in the library for a couple days.
Yeah, probably best to get out of the apartment, anyway. Too many distractions. One of your roommates is pretty quiet... well, honestly, you haven't seen him in like, four months, and you'd be worried if food didn't continue to disappear and little envelopes of money didn't keep getting pushed under your door while you sleep, but the other one's a bit...boisterous. And with the Cup going on right now, home's probably not a great place to be.
You saw him with a huge armload of flags the other day, and if that's not a sign, you're not sure what is. Although where he found so many Turkish flags, you don't know.
To think, he's going to be an orthodontist.
Well, all of that aside, you've got to get your laptop, and let the quiet roommate know no-one's going to be buying food for a few days. Simple. You've got an hour before the place is packed with people for Turkey's big game, so it should all work out.
Clutching the handwritten 'ok' the good roommate left you, you emerge from your apartment, slightly shaken, in a bright red jersey with a Turkish flag painted on your cheek. That...hadn't gone as badly as you'd expected. You're a little worried, though. You hadn't known he was pulling for Croatia until you saw the little flag he'd tacked to his door.
...But you have a paper to write! You can worry about him once your own life is out of danger!
Your attire garners depressingly few second looks, as the campus population seem rather inured to the displays that Cup season brings. In the library coffee shop, you purchase yourself a large cup of steaming hot coffee, and a few bottles as well, to keep you going, and head upstairs into the stacks.
It's not hard to annex one of the many small study rooms for your own use. Luckily, no-one had been inside, and it's the work of a moment to 'disappear' the small plaque identifying the room as anything but a storage closet, assuring yourself privacy. Now, you have a couple leads, but it looks like you're going to have to pick an area of the shelves to scour, since you don't have time to pick and choose across the building.
Let's see, now, you need to get a few books, since Professor Okazaki has some kind of weird love-hate relationship with the Internet, so if you can find at least one of the authors, you'll be able to find some related texts, as well...
[ ] Nikolai Tesla? Well, he was a genius, wasn't? You weren't aware he operated in this field, though. [ ] Sir Isaac Newton's not a bad choice. Going with the classics, right? [ ] ...Friedrick Ehrlich? A new name, it seems. You don't know much about him. [ ] Haans var Inblastur. ...Some kind of nut, writing about 'the union of man's two great paths of discovery.' looks like some new-age-y shit. You're not even sure why he's on your list.
[x] ...Friedrick Ehrlich? A new name, it seems. You don't know much about him.
At first I was elated since I've already done a report on Ehrlich, then I realized he's not the same as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ehrlich . Second choice would be Newton on account of gravity, calculus, and the properties of light, but no one else voted for him, so.
And as much as I love Tesla, singing praises about his contributions to science is old hat by now.
Real life has been absolutely destroying me recently, I am so, so, SO sorry for this long delay.
So, so, so, very very sorry.
Might as well go with the classics. Tesla's a pretty great genius scientist. May not have done a lot of writing, himself, but he sure contributed a lot to science.
You browse the stacks for a little while, before finding the section you were looking for. Occupied.
You actually recognise the girl rooting around in the stacks, in fact. It's the Professor's Teaching Assistant, Chiyuri. As usual, she has such strange taste in clothing. This week it looks like some sort of variation on a sailor uniform. How she can afford to switch up her wardrobe the way she does on a TA's pay, you're not sure. Although, you guess there are those rumours that she does more for the Professor than help teach...
Yeah, you know, they always did sound pretty likely. And the way the Professor is, you wouldn't be surprised in the least. Working as a research assistant or lab monkey would probably supplement her income rather decently...
"Looking for something?" Her head pops up, and swivels around.
"Oh, it's just you." She proceeds to ignore you entirely.
"Ah, hey." You put your hand over your heart. "That hurts, you know?" You start eyeing the shelves yourself, looking for good sources.
"Yeah, yeah." She waves a hand in your direction dismissively as she adds another book to her stack. "I hear you screwed the pooch on that term paper?"
"....I still have time." You respond, perhaps a bit defensively.
"The way you work?" She snorts.
You don't deign to give her a response as you pick an old leatherbound notebook, and a moment later manage to find the translation, stapled neatly together. It's practically untouched, but as far as you can tell, perfect for your uses. It's a good thing, too. You can't read Armenian.
YOu browse for a few more minutes, adding a couple more vaguely occult-looking books to your pile, before Chiyuri grabs your attention.
"Hey." She's holding something out for you. "You know, Yumemi likes this guy's work, so." You accept the book, and look it over. It's by that new guy, Ehrlich. Well, maybe calling it a book is a little generous, but. It seems to be a collection of his research papers, from the various journals. "Try to work some of it in, if you can."
"...Thanks, Chiyuri." The two of you really do get along. Sort of.
"Yeah, yeah. Just don't fuck this up." And with that heartening piece of advice, she leaves you alone in the stacks.
Well, you've got just about everything you need, so you head back to the room you've commandeered for your work.
[x] Sitting down, at least, will be okay... -[x] Put the paper in plain sight on the desk, just in case.
Hopefully when teach calls for the papers, our peers will notice ours and put it in the pile to be passed forward. Failing that, Professor Okazaki will at least notice that our paper was in fact complete by the start of class.