A Very Rough Draft

This is my attempt at procrastination – if this were actual procrastination, I wouldn’t be here, I’d be watching Family Guy on Netflix.

Today, at 11:59pm, I have to have a rough draft of a paper in for an online class I’m taking. It should be approximately 15-20 pages, of which I’ve done about half at this point. So, as you see, I’ve still got a fighting chance. But here’s what’s killing me – what’s a rough draft?

This draft is worth 10% of my grade on this paper, but I have no clue how polished it has to be. Does it have to be a diamond in the rough, ready for just a few more polishes until it’s ready to be set on my academic tiara? Or can it be a festering pile of shit, nothing more then a few strands of edible verbiage in a sea of written vomit?

I don’t know, but it’s worth 10% of my grade, so I feel like I should work harder at it. Unfortunately, unlike having an actual paper due at midnight, this doesn’t have that same sense of “OMG IT HAS TO BE PERFECT” like other hard deadlines have. It doesn’t have a finite ending – when’s good enough? Usually, if I had an actual paper due at midnight, I’d be working up until 11:58pm to try to polish it as much as humanly possible, only to click send at the last possible moment.

With this, though, I have no clue. What’s good enough? When’s it rough enough for a draft, but not so rough that it gets spit back at me like some sort of regurgitated academic drivel (God, there’s a lot of vomit metaphors in this post).

Complicating this matter is that other people have to peer review the thing – like, my actual “virtual” classmates are going to take their digital red pen to it and eviscerate me. Is it more of an insult to throw the weakling child into the pit of lions, knowing that they’ll get killed, but being comfortable with that outcome, or throwing in the seasoned warrior, and then holding to a thin shred of hope that he kills the lion? What if the lions turn out to be other prisoners, and everyone’s just as worried as I am?

Alana’s taking a nap and kind of stressed, and when the other person is stressed, we have a rule: “Do things that would make the other person happy.” So writing my paper would make Alana happy, and I need to get back to that.

But answer me this: how rough is rough enough in this situation? What’s expected? What’s not? The actual paper isn’t due for another month and a half, so I’m not sure how far along it should be.

Opinions are solicited and welcomed.

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One Response to A Very Rough Draft

  1. Adam says:

    I would say the best answer, as always, is “moderation, good sir, moderation.” Give them enough to think that you’ve been thinking about it, including a few well-structured and well-composed sections along with an outline of the other sections. Give the lions anything more than that, and they will feel obliged to tear down all of your extra work because they are farther behind you than they hoped – red ink flying faster than malfunctioning wardrobe articles at a Super Bowl halftime show. And if you suspect that you’re going into the realm of “doing too much” at any point, you probably are. Chill, daddy-o. You’re the mac.

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