10 Ways to Turn Writing a Paper into a Drinking Game

a girl drinking two glasses of wine simultaneously

College students have long suspected that universities and individual professors must buy stock in paper companies. For some, it’s the only explanation as to why college seems to be just one paper assignment after another.

Conspiracy theories aside, writing papers can be tough. But when the grind wears you down, injecting a bit of fun can help get you over the hump. When it comes to paper writing, it’s time to turn to the same tactics employed by such literary luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, Tennessee Williams, and Hunter S. Thompson: Booze.

However, college students can’t just kick back with a snifter of brandy and mull over their literary choices. That’s way too pedestrian. Of course, the answer is to turn it into a drinking game.

After all, it’s practically a college tradition. Before you begin, be sure to save a copy of your paper in a completely separate file, preferably on a flash drive. Better safe than sorry. Inspiration may strike during your game, but it’s always good to have a backup. You don’t want to have to reconstruct full pages that fell apart because you got off on a tangent about the therapeutic properties of cat videos.

Once you have a backup file saved, pick your poison. You can pick a selection of brews and assign each rule a specific brand or type or you can just pick one and stick with it the whole way through. Chances are it won’t matter what you drink – the end result will be the same. For extra fun later, turn on Track Changes in your Formatting menu so you can follow along the next morning and see how your editorial decisions changed as the night wore on.

Rules of The Paper Writing Drinking Game

  1. Every time you run into a 404 tracking down a source, take a drink. If you were tracking it down from Wikipedia, take two drinks.
  2. Each time you write yourself into a corner, take a drink. Every time you catch yourself writing in circles, take two.
  3. Take a drink for each syllable in any words you have to pronounce out loud in order to spell correctly as you type.
  4. If a page has more footnotes than actual text, take two drinks and toast Flann O’Brien.
  5. Each time you stretch out a single paragraph idea into two or more, take a drink and pat yourself on the back.
  6. Take a drink and give yourself a slap for every time you catch yourself on Candy Crush Saga, Farmville, or any other pointless FaceBook game.
  7. Have another drink each time to catch yourself randomly scrolling down a page and realize you completely forgot what you were looking for.
  8. Any time you find yourself in need of a friend with a subscription to JSTOR or LexisNexis, take a drink and hit up any journalism majors who happen to be online.
  9. Take another drink every time you catch yourself calculating how many words per minute you’ll have to write in order to get the paper done tonight.
  10. Every time you ask yourself how much bigger you can make the font or contemplating formatting changes to make your paper appear longer, take two drinks.

Bonus Shots

  • Any time you re-write a sentence more than 12 times
  • For every set of Block Quotes you use to bulk out a few pages.
  • Every time you say out loud ‘Okay, down to work now’.
  • Each time you search around for single words you can stretch into more (i.e. changing ‘it’ to ‘the field of robotic psychiatry’)
  • Every FaceBook status update or Tweet about the progress you’ve made on your paper.

Chances are you’ll end up with a screen filled with plenty of red squiggly lines and a few good ideas. If you managed to actually finish the paper – or this version of it anyway – during the game, that earns you a bonus round of whatever quality alcohol you have stashed away. Don’t forget to save the fruit of your labor before drinking some water and passing out face-first on the keyboard.

But the fun isn’t over yet! In the morning you’ll be eligible to play the super fun Bonus Morning After Game! Brew a pot of coffee, wipe off the keyboard and open the file from the night before. Re-read what you wrote and edited the night before. Every time something makes you laugh out loud, take a sip of coffee. Take two every time you read something that makes you wince. Finally, take a big gulp for any sections so inspired you leave them nearly intact in the final version of the paper. Here’s also a guide on How to Cure Hangover for those who drank too much yesterday.

Did you ever write drunk? Tell us your own story in the comments!

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