Procrastination is defined by dictionary.com as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention” (dictionary.com). Or in other words, it is that thing that most students do when they are avoiding writing that five to ten page paper that they should be doing. As a writer, I am guilty of procrastinating. I have waited until the last minute to start working on an assignment thinking that the pressure of meeting the deadline would help me form some genius theory or argument. Generally however, the spark of genius that I was looking for that was supposed to blow away my professor never came. The panic would set in and I would begin to doubt myself not only as a student but also as a writer. Procrastination is like the person that we all know that stands back and laughs in your face when you fall down, it never came to my rescue and it will not come to yours.
As an English Composition teacher, I see the error of my ways. I know when my students have put off an assignment until the last minute because the simple stuff gives them away. The first tell is the small editing mistakes such as a lack of punctuation, misspelled words, and missing words that could be easily caught if you were not rushing. Then there are the more complicated issues of random thoughts being strung together in hopes that they make sense, the lack of coherent flow from one paragraph or even from one idea to another. Then you have some of my favorite mistake and quick fixes made during the panic of procrastinating, the unfinished sentences and making the font size of all of your punctuations bigger so that you meet the page requirement.
The reason English professors give you an assignment well before the due date is so that you have time to formulate your ideas and really make the best out of your opinion or theory. Also, if your paper requires any form of research, it takes time to look up proper sources, time that you do not have when you put an assignment off until the last minute. By sloughing off an assignment you are also limiting your own mind and creativity. If you work on your paper in a timely manner then you can make it into the stroke of genius that you look for in the panic of procrastinating.
While you may think that your professor will never notice any of these mistake or quick fixes, especially changing the font size of your punctuation you are wrong. Your professor is neither blind nor dumb, they notice when you are not connecting two thoughts together just like thy notice wen you misspell words. How else can your professors help you become a better writer if they do not point out your mistakes, and if you make more mistakes when you procrastinate, the more mistakes they are going to point out. Don’t let procrastination get the better of you. Let your brilliance shine fully and brightly rather than letting the film of procrastination dim your intelligence.
Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.