When Life is a Term Paper
I wonder how many business reports are simply a more sophisticated version of the high school term paper. You'll recall the formula: Do a bunch of research and then throw in the kitchen sink. The more footnotes, the better. Have frequent citation of "authorities." Analysis is secondary and a scattered approach to sources is admirable. Focus can be deadly because you may, just might, perhaps, be wrong..
Later on, in college, another technique is added: Vagueness. Arcane analysis. If the prose is almost unreadable, then it must be deep. [It's deep all right, only we won't say in what.]
I recall a law school exam where, in one of the essay question answers, I launched one of the most prolonged bits of hallucination I've ever written. The professor loved it.
That should have been a warning.
But I digress.
Two items to remember:
- Don't write a term paper unless a term paper is needed.
- Recognize that some people mistake loose reasoning for creativity and passion.