The Study Dude – Top 10 Ways to Nail an F in English 101

Study Tips from a Semi-Anonymous Friend

Want to ensure your next writing assignment gets an F? The Study Dude shows you how.

No? Well nobody said the dude can’t be flexible. So I’ll give you what it takes to avoid it as well.

Here is the list of the top ten ways to nail an F in English 101, and underneath, what you need to do if you want to avoid it:

Number 10: Read your paper aloud while rapping Snoop Dogg.
When editing your paper, read it aloud. Cut anything that stifles the rhythm of your tongue.

Number 9: Go psychedelic when reading Dr. Seuss.
Read widely on books that challenge you. Scan tables-of-contents and indexes. Mark-up book margins with key ideas or engaging tidbits. Look up definitions of words that stump you.

Number 8: Make your paper as active as a Quiznos employee.
Wherever possible, avoid the passive voice. The passive voice uses variants of the verb “to be” and has no actor. An example of the passive voice is “The paper was marked.” Who marked the paper? Dunno.

Profs usually disallow first-person, however, so you may be forced to use the passive voice anyway.

Number 7: Give your verbs less punch than the last match of Rhonda Rousey.
Use short, lively verbs with lots of action. For instance, words like grope, sparked, sprinkled, and shone.

Number 6: Mistake your audiobooks for the hiccups.
Vary your sentence structure. At least once every paragraph, slip in a subordinate clause at the start of a sentence. Follow-up a long sentence with a short snappy one.

Number 5: When stuck without an adjective, consult slogans on Coke machines.
Use adjectives and adverbs that add meaning. If your adjectives or adverbs repeat the meaning, delete them.

Number 4: Thank your grandma for recycling your papers in the outhouse.
Write as if you are speaking to your dearest friend. Leave an impression. Once you’ve written from the heart, polish the paper.

Number 3: Let NASA hire you as a translator for E.T.
Write in everyday English. Avoid multisyllabic words unless they are more precise than a shorter alternative. Only once you’ve drafted your piece, replace the wordy stuff with the concise.

Number 2: Chew more fat than Donald Trump.
Once you get to a list of three, stop. Don’t list four or five items. Order your three items from least to most wordy or exciting or abstract.

Number 1: Make your paper a firewall for WikiLeaks.
Avoid too many abstractions in your writing. After all, you’re writing English, not code. Instead, use metaphors and analogies, replacing abstractions with things you can see or touch or smell or hear or taste.

In English 101, when you get your F, say the Study Dude sent you.

And you know The Study Dude won’t take an F for an answer.

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