How to b.s. a church history paper, part 2a: in which I lay down the criteria

Several weeks ago, I announced that I would produce a b.s.’d church history paper based primarily on a list of vocabulary. Many days, lectures doodled through, and episodes of The L Word later, I’m more or less following through.

First, it would be Good and Proper to lay down come criteria:

Each “paper” must:

  • Have a word count of 1250.**
  • Have the word count included at the bottom.
  • Use ABSOLUTELY ALL of the 42 words on the vocabulary list.
    • Modifications of the words on the vocabulary list are permissible within reason (i.e. “Apocalypse” or “Apocalyptic” may legitimately replace “Apocalypticism”).
  • Boldface all vocabulary words. To keep me an honest woman.
  • Not be researched.*
    • If any research is to be done, it must be insanely minimal (no more than the first sentence of a Wikipedia entry, or definition from dictionary.com).*
  • But, really, no research allowed.*
  • Include, in the conclusion, a re-statement of the thesis.*
  • Begin with something abstract, cheesy, and (if you teach history) cringe-worthy, such as, “Throughout the mists of time…”
  • Include anachronisms.* Bonus points for anachronistic moralizing.*

That, gentle reader, is what you can expect.


**  I figure the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM page count for an undergrad, upper division history paper is about 5 pages, and 1250 words is roughly what that comes out to.

*  Denotes things I have heard one or more professors explicitly instruct against – sometimes even citing them as pet peeves.


  1. Do you get ten bonus points if you give combine abstract, cheesy, and cringe-worthy with anachronistic moralizing? :-O

    1. Ten bonus points and a bag of Cheetos, yes, definitely.