How To Write An Essay About Absolutely Nothing

©1996 Jason Brady, Vincent Plouffe, Catriona Syme, Zhan Huan Zhou

It's the night before. I've been stalling and avoiding my homework all day, and what a nice day it's been too. Having successfully wasted the entire morning and afternoon, I am sitting here now, after midnight, with a cup of coffee in my hand. I have my dictionary and a thesaurus nearby and some ridiculously loud and obnoxious music blaring behind me. I'm finally ready to start.

My first challenge as I sit here scratching my cranium is to conjure up a flamboyant and wildly hysterical topic. One that is guaranteed to prevent me from failing. Delving into the depths of my imagination, I come to the inescapable conclusion that I haven't the slightest clue what to write about. There's little time to waste, so I'll just write about the first thing that comes to mind: nothing!

I begin with my introduction. An extended paragraph filled with meaningless dribble which repeats itself several times before desisting. This first section should include significant diction reiterating pointless facts, eventually concluding in a plain and boring thesis. For example, saying "dissertations are being designed in such a fashion that the author quickly, clearly, and concisely manipulates his sentences to elucidate his objectives to the reader," instead of "essays should be direct and to the point." In time, a thesis can be created which in no way relates to the rest of the introduction. This is commonly referred to as "dramatic effect."

Superfluous language incorporation unnecessarily gargantuan words is the crucial foundation of the body paragraphs. This requires the use of words such as interdisciplinary, disproportionate, or anti-disestablishmentarianism. Exceedingly elaborate 'wordisms' can confound and stupefy the reader, successfully generating the illusion of superior writing skills. For instance, "I was sunburned" becomes "I was suffering from the most undesirable exfoliation as a consequence of intense ultraviolet radiation permeating the atmosphere from the primeval celestial body commonly referred to as the sun." One must conscientiously avoid using simpler, monosyllabic words. These tend to diminish the effect the desired effect. Frequent utilization emancipates your improvisational creativity. Big words are great.

A true 'nothing' essay must be carefully calculated to ensure that there is no discernible link between the various arguments.

The sporadic and inappropriate use of literary devices is as important to the essay as honesty is to politics. Through the use of analogies the process that is being explained should be related to simple and common practice, easily understood by the reader. "E=mc2 is as easy as ABC." Imagery, similes, metaphors, and other literary devices add depth to an essay when used appropriately and can be found in Coles Notes.

To finish the essay, draw a conclusion that exceeds the minimum word requirements by one or two words. This demonstrates extra effort and over-achievement. Do not fret if the conclusion is superficial. Being enigmatic exhibits insightfulness and depth, leaving the reader much to ponder.

In conclusion, a great last minute essay requires only four essentials: a topic your teacher knows nothing about, a thesaurus, Coles Notes and above all, a spill-checker.

Word count: 506

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©1996-2001 Zhan Huan Zhou. Last updated May-01-2001.

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