How to Write an Essay at an American University

Monk copyist in a scriptorium woodcut” Mediaeval and Modern History by Philip Van Ness Myers, 1905

Writing an essay as a student at an American University is something that is treated with great importance by a whole lot of people that were also told to write essays as students. An essay, or a paper, has a large set of rules that one must follow if they would like to get a good grade. Grades are applied to everything in America, from the quality of the meat extracted from animals, to the quality of the thoughts extracted from students. Grades are important to people who thought grades were important when they received them. I am writing this paper on a computer, I received a request from someone to write this paper via the computer as well. Computers allow us to digitally send information to one another and also to watch videos of kittens. This convenience comes with a set of distracting simplifications to our everyday life, for one, we no longer need to wait for days to send someone our love in the mail, now we can just type it like this:

This easy access to everything makes it difficult for people to complete anything. This is called multitasking. Multitasking is a way to avoid doing the tasks you actually don’t want to do which leads to procrastinating. When you procrastinate, you let those little things get in the way of the big things, which means sometimes you get a bad grade on your paper.

When you sit down to write your paper, be sure to follow at least a few of the rules that the rulebook tells you to follow. This could be confusing because there are different rulebooks, you should follow the MLA, and this stands for Modern Language Association, in reality it really only cares about modern American English language. Americans like to claim world standards for things only Americans care about, the World Series of Baseball is only played with teams from America and Canada but it is not called the American Series of Baseball. Canada is like America but they didn’t dislike the British as much. Some people write MLA formatted papers about baseball and get them graded by people who might not even like baseball.

It is acceptable or even encouraged to write long papers, sometimes taking up a months and months of your life. Even by the healthiest of standards most humans only live around 960 months, imagine if you spent half to one percent of your whole life writing just one thing about baseball that only one person that doesn’t care about baseball will read.

When you do write a paper, make sure you don’t do it in a format that is difficult to follow by the reader that doesn’t care about it. To do so, it is expected that your paper follow a simple rule, which is called the Burger Essay. It means that the meat, or interesting part of your essay, is sandwiched between long sections of fluff. Fluff-less essays are not encouraged because they might look too much like this:

The Russians beat the Nazis in World War II because Russia is really cold.

This would not be acceptable as a college paper at an American University because it would leave too much time for people to realize they aren’t happy doing what they are doing and they would buy another La-Z-Boy chair. In America, being comfortable is very important; most places where you buy things are only there to comfort you.

When you write a paper at an American University, make sure to make the space between the lines of words really large. That way the person reading your paper will have to read less, and you will feel like you said more, which is really all that matters, like this. The essay will fit in the right amount of Letter sized paper. A letter is actually many things in English, it can be what people no longer send to each other, or the 3,071 little things you just looked at to read this letter-sized paper. Americans enjoy confusing people with the size of things, including this essay. When you write a paper in unnecessarily formal formats, it makes people think you are smarter than you are when you wrote it, just like this essay.