Why does everyone fill their dissertation with pretentious rubbish?

Stop trying to sound so clever

Dissertation student University

I’m a third year so I know what a ball-ache a dissertation can be. I also know that pretty much everyone ends up padding their dissertation out with a load of pointless and pretentious waffle.

When you enrolled at university, you thought the time here would be a blur of partying, getting drunk and one night stands. You probably didn’t realise though that you’d spend the last months of it writing 10,000 words of pretentious drivel.

Someone else who knows my pain

Jamie Anderson studied English Literature while at uni and remembers cringing when he read his own dissertation back.

What Jamie wrote: “The use of metaphor in this passage is used to great effect by the author to show how feeble and fleeting life is and evokes emotions within the reader of the impending and lonely journey of death.”

What Jamie meant: “The metaphor the author used is about death and makes the reader think about death.”

It’s not just English students who unleash their inner Shakespeare when it comes to labour over a dissertation.

Face it…you’re not him

Fine art grad Catherine Harrison told us: “Writing my dissertation was absolute torture, learning the material was hard enough but to have to rewrite it as an ‘academic’ was near impossible.”

What Catherine wrote: “The colour use within this piece is exceptionally good at drawing in the selective eye of the viewer, the florescent contrasting colours show connotations of confusion that the artist was feeling at this point in their life.”

What Catherine meant: “The colour choice is confusing, maybe the artist is confused.”

I don’t understand why we have to write like this. It’s ten times easier to understand something short and simple over something that’s overly-long and unnecessarily complicated.

This kind of writing style isn’t just showing up at universities. It turns out some colleges and secondary schools aren’t even safe.

My friend’s younger sister is reading Of Mice And Men at school and I told him about this article so he showed me her essay about the themes in the book.

Remember this nightmare?

What she wrote: “Some of the white characters in the book use racial slurs towards the black character to emphasise the themes of isolation and loneliness, some people argue that they want to make him feel bad because they feel bad.

What she meant: “Some people are lonely racist dicks.”

Let’s be honest: you don’t need to swallow a thesaurus and use words no one understands to prove you went to university. It’s unnecessary and annoying so can we all call it a day and put an end to pretending to be Oscar Wilde?