Hack College: Never Write a Paper Again

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A bit of information before you read. This post was given to me by a friend, who’s name will not be shared. He was unwilling to share his name for fear of having his degree revoked. I hope you enjoy the read and share the post if you find it helpful. I learned a lot from reading this and hope that my friend will share more of his life hacks in the future. -Rand

From my experience, a college education is one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my life. At college, I gained skills and qualifications both traditional and non-traditional (to say the least) that have opened doors for me all the way up to now. One of the most helpful non-traditional things I learned was how to optimize my time for more partying by getting my papers written for me. Instead of spending hours writing reports and papers, I could spend my time partying or doing other fun activities.

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When I was at college, I wanted to spend more of my time learning the things I was interested in, and enjoying my free time. But under the constant weight of papers and assignments, what little free time I had was disappearing fast. You’re only young once, and I didn’t want to miss my chance to enjoy the social side of college. I had to decide if I wanted to waste endless hours writing or spend it more productively: partying, learning more about life, and even studying the subjects I was really interested in.

What Was The alternative?

So what’s the alternative? Well, what do business leaders and politicians do when they need something written? They turn to a script writer, or a copywriter, or a technical writer. They give them their thoughts, ideas, and arguments and then they let them get on with it. In the end, they receive the work, and they check that it’s suitable. That it communicates the thoughts and ideas that they want to express.

Some might consider this dishonest, but in the business world – it’s standard practice. The president doesn’t stay up all night writing speeches – he has staff who do that for him. Of course, he provides the ideas and works with the writers to make sure the speech is perfect. The CEO does not write the shareholder reports or the instruction manual. She does check them before they go out and gets them fixed if any changes are needed.

It is because of this that I decided to do the same thing. By turning to professional writers, I was able to free up my time for other activities. I still did all the groundwork, researching, finding supporting ideas or data, and outlining the papers down to the smallest necessary detail. However, when it came to the tedious task of writing it up, I hired someone to do it. I would find freelance writers who were experts on academic writing and could write a top-notch paper. Some of them were educators themselves, and they’ve invested a lifetime learning the nuances of the APA and MLA, as well as the subject being covered.

As I mentioned, I had to provide all the background data to get the paper that I expected. I found it important to be as thorough as possible; you do not want to leave any space for misunderstandings.

Any paper begins with an argument; it is what ties everything together. During the class, I would take tons of notes, to make sure I understood the finer points of the subject. During discussion time, I would be able to develop an argument. I could get clarifications from the lecturer, go over all the angles, and “test drive” my argument with live feedback. A significant side effect was that this made me look like an extremely motivated student.

I used the time to put my thoughts in order, and to find out what others thought, and why. The point was not to persuade people that my view was the right one, but instead to test my argument with the other students to see if it was watertight. If they came up with a sharp rebuttal, it would give me the opportunity to research and edit my argument to accommodate. Also, I was interested in their ideas and what evidence had persuaded them?

Some people form their opinions on flimsy grounds, but often I would discover valid points of view and evidence I could use to support my argument. It is important to stay fluid and be willing to change your conclusions if the evidence is strong enough.

By the end, I had a well-grounded argument with supporting points. The basic outline of my assignment was already formed in my mind. To flesh it out with some substance, my next step was to search for educational resources and scholarly articles on the Internet. With these resources, I could gather the points to support my argument.

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Here’s how I do it:

1: Make a list of the evidence I will need. Include:

* Each of the points that support my argument.
* Evidence the other students alluded to or mentioned.

2: Search on GOOGLE SCHOLAR.

Use search strings like “arguments for/against X”. Look for reputable papers or journals. The results are sorted in order of citations, with the most cited papers at the top. When you click on a result, you will usually be taken to a page that gives an abstract of the paper. Sometimes you will find the full text. There are ways to find the full text, but it will take some work searching the internet.

3: Check if it is relevant

Skim through the text to see if it contains the information you need. Remember, you are looking for evidence. Facts, not opinions.

4: Choose the best evidence.

Evaluate several papers, journals, and other sources, and find the evidence that you find most relevant and persuasive for your argument. Avoid logical fallacies or rhetorical gymnastics – the evidence and the points they make should relate to the argument in a simple and rational way.

5: Basic Basic Basic

This is basic research. Don’t copy and paste, make sure that you cite your source and use those sources to build a case. If you don’t know how to do basic research for your papers then read this, because I don’t have time to teach you.

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Once you have substantial data to support each point of your argument, your research is done.

Again, it’s important to mention that when you do this, you should not cut and paste the text into your finished work – that would be detected in milliseconds thanks to plagiarism checkers like turnitin.com. Technology makes it very easy to detect text that has been copied verbatim. Even if you mix up the words a little, it will still set off alarms.

However, the ideas and points that I found on these sites gave me plenty of material to use as support for my original work. At this point, I was in the same position as any other student who had done all their research and preparation to write a perfect assignment. The only difference was that instead of spending several sleepless nights slaving over it, I would hire someone to write it for me at a reasonable price.

Now, in case you think I just happened to know dozens of freelance writers, that’s not true. There are online communities full of freelance ghostwriters. They’ve been around since before the web – these days, it’s easier to find them and do business. You can find hundreds of great writers online without searching hard. They were professionals who could write great quality work for a small fee. Seriously, these guys were able to write much better than most students!

The sites I used included EssayShark and iWriter. There are new ones appearing all the time. All of these sites make it easy to find good writers quickly – it is important to get the work done before the deadline. Although EssayShark targets the academic market directly, I have had a better experience with iWriter.

To get the best results from your writer, you have to give them explicit instructions that they can follow

1: Tell them what the assignment is, what your argument is, and the points.

2: Provide them with a list of the academic papers to cite, including the relevant sections (so they don’t get lost trying to read all the irrelevant parts).

3: Tell them which style guide and citation format to use.

4: Also, tell them not to copy and paste the source materials.

The writers understand that you’re going to reject the work if they don’t follow the instructions. Putting a warning in ALL CAPS just makes you look like a belligerent ass, and writers know to avoid angry clients that can’t be satisfied.

Of course, once the work was done, I had to check the completed work to make sure it was appropriate. I had to make sure there were no errors, and that it was completely original, with no copied text. The greatest thing about sites like iwriter is I could send the paper back and ask for revisions. The writer would not get paid until I was happy with the result.

How To Check For Unoriginal Writing and Grammar:

It is easy to check for copied content using a service like Plagtracker or Copyscape. These sites use software that can spot copied text – they crawl the Internet just like Google and keep a copy of all the text published online. Many ghostwriting services like IWriter use the Copyscape service internally to prevent writers from submitting copied content. So when I used iWriter, there was one less problem to worry about.

In fact, it is become easier to hack college recently. Since my college days, a new tools have come along, and it makes it easier to check for grammar errors and writing style. Grammarly is one of these impressive new tools that can find hundreds of grammar and style errors. It has a unique setting for academic writing, so it is perfect for your requirements. There is an added advantage to using Grammarly. You’ll find that you learn a lot of useful writing skills and expand your vocabulary when you follow its advice.

Chief Growth Hacker at Compass and Growth School. Former VP of Marketing of Happy Inspector. Blogger of all things Growth hacking and Biohacking.

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