Pick a Topic
* The more "legally-oriented" your topic is, the better. You'll see why.
* It has to be something you feel strongly about. Strong as in it makes you want to open your window and yell and shake your fist about it at joggers passing by. That strong.
* It also has to be something that you already know some stuff about.
* It also needs to have some depth to it. It can't be like "We should have free pizza in lecture every Friday". That's lame. -Unless you're really creative, then that could possibly work if your professor has a sense of humor and you really can write 20 pages about something silly like that.
Make a list
* ...of every possible outcome that this issue could cause in
o ...the near future
o ...the far future
* ...of every person that this topic affects.
* ...of any instances where this topic has come in the news.
* ...what you would do about this topic if you had the chance/power/enough-sugar
* ...any little detail you can think of
The important thing about this is to think of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, no matter how silly or far-fetched. It'll make your professor go "hmm, didn't think about that one". You can even get your friends to help you with this one. The more the merrier. It's best to do this on a computer, because...
Put your most obvious argument first.
Then put weird off the wall stuff, regardless of importance.
Put the strongest argument for your case next.
Now list the incidents that will help argue for your point. Don't know of any incidents in the news to help argue your point? That's ok. Make up some, except keep it really really generic. When it comes time to quote the source, remember this: There are over 6 billion people in the world. There are countless newspapers and other sources that document people doing...stuff. If you list incidents that are generic enough and your topic isn't extremely weird, at least one person out there has done something notable/stupid/crazy enough to make it to the news. Also, people have sued each other over everything imaginable. Find a court case database. Your topic has SOMEHOW manifested itself in court at some point in history. I can almost guarantee it. Just make sure that the situations you come up with are physically possible.
Now, list everything that could be construed to be the answer to the question "if elected, what would you do about this issue?"
It's best to keep all this in the form of an outline.
Now add several lines of space under each bullet. Keep adding spaces until your text document has reached the goal size of your paper.
Now print it out.
Get the hell away from your computer
* I'm serious.
* No really, get away from the computer.
* Go outside and sit under a tree. If you hate outside, or if it's too cold for humans to survive, or if there's a band of rabid dogs roaming your neighborhood, good. It'll help you write faster.
The reason why you should do this is because everyone magically becomes ADD when they are near a computer. You can check your AIM messages later.
Write a fiery rant in each of the spaces you alloted. Get pumped. Just don't begin every paragraph with "I swear upon my father's grave..." Also try not to repeat yourself too much. Be very specific. Talk to your reader as though they've never heard of your subject before. Write at about the same size that your typed version will be. Don't worry too much if you don't fill in all the spaces. But if you feel strongly enough about your topic, then this really shouldn't be a problem. If you're like me and can't think linearly you can skip around as much as you want.
Go Back Inside
Type everything. You'll also notice more things occur to you as you type. Go ahead and throw them in in the corresponding categories. Don't jump around too much at this point though. Maintain focus and bash out that essay as fast as possible. Although you should do this as fast as possible, be a typo nazi. Those little things really make it evident you did this at the last minute.
Time for that whole "research" part
Believe it or not, nothing you said was original. Remember what I said earlier about 6 billion people? Apply now. Pick each topic/case/scenario/subpoint. Anything you had to say about those has already been said by some scholar or professor or newspaper. Google it up. It won't take long. Take a few key words from your main argument of each section and see what you get. Paraphrase their main argument or quote a few lines. Add the proper citations. Do NOT plagiarize.
* Some word processors are capable of non-integer spacing. Try 2.1 or 2.2 spacing.
* There's also the Good ol' Margin trick
* Title page
* Did your professor specify to use MLA citations? She/he didn't? Good. APA citation guidelines are much more friendly with website sources. Check it out.