BS 101: An Introductory Course in BSing

As the title may suggest, this is an introduction to the magical world of BS-ing. Some may be familiar with using this to complete assignments for some classes that they may have put off to the last moment. But BS-ing isn't just a last resort for the modern student. No, it has truly become a way of life.

But before the lessons on how to BS effectively will be communicated, the BS-er themselves must be examined. Many think of the common BS-er as that kid who sits in the back of the class, sleeping with a sweatshirt as a pillow and the soothing music of an iPod blaring into their ears. And while that used to be the case; the art of BS-ing has spread from that exclusive group into more of a widespread infamy. Now, BS-ers can be anyone from the sleeping slacker to the well-dressed, well-spoken students. It has invaded all aspects of the classroom.

And because everyone is capable of the art of BS-ing, most frown upon it. But it is more than simply writing down whatever comes to the mind onto a piece of paper and turning it in. No, it is much more complex than that, especially if the BS-er wants to succeed in their endeavor.

So let us take a look at the steps that a BS-er goes through in the process of BS-ing. First the BS-er must realize that they have absolutely no idea what they are doing, to now be referred to as acceptance. After acceptance comes the process of racking the brain for any small bit of information that may prove useful, or scanning.

After the scanning comes the process of trying to tie the thin strands of knowledge together into a cohesive knot of an assignment. This is known as unification. Information compiled, it must be committed to paper in perhaps the most important step of the BS-ing process. This is called commitment, for once the BS-er has committed to commitment, they are locked in to their response.

Now to look at each in a bit more detail, to give better insight on how to BS like a champ. As in many programs, acceptance is the first and most crucial step, for without acceptance, how can one go about fixing the problem that they have. And every student has had this moment of twisted enlightenment. They look at the question, start to think, and then realize that they have absolutely no idea what that just meant. Usually this is followed by a moment or two spent rereading the question, trying to see if the reader made an error. But alas, that is not so, and the soon to be BS-er realizes that they are well and truly screwed.

A cold chill runs down the spine with this realization, followed by several moments of absolute panic in which a person quickly tries to think of every possible solution and outcome, some of which end strangely in death. But in the end, their mind will alight upon the possibility of BS-ing the assignment. And so, acceptance has happened.

Now comes the scanning. The BS-er furiously thinks about the question, trying to dredge up any tiny bit of knowledge that may help them. Movies, books, magazines, newspapers, and websites that they may have read or seen are quickly recalled and discarded as they hurriedly scribble down any bit of pertinent information that they have come up with.

That list, when completed, will be entirely nonsensical, covering ridiculous movie quotes, book titles, obscure historical facts and more that they were able to come up with. And while this may sound useless, this is exactly what the BS-er wants to do. They must realize that no matter how inconsequential the information may seem at first, a movie quote or book title thrown into an essay will make them seem even more prepared than some of those students that were dumb enough to study for the essay, test, or assignment.

The most difficult step is the third, in which all of that useless information must be tied together to make a cohesive statement. And the best way to do that is to try and find the topic that you have the most information about. Say that they essay assignment is about British history, and the BS-er has a lot of information about a fifty-year period of time.

What they are going to want to do is to take those fifty years and do everything they can to make it sound like the most important fifty years ever. Lying, exaggeration, and slight distortion of the truth will come in handy in this step. If you can find something obscure enough that the teacher does not know, then all of these methods will go unnoticed. So use them. What is the worst that could happen?

So the BS-er has the information, it is tied together, and they are ready to BS that assignment. Now comes the commitment phase. While not the most important, it is the easiest to fail at. Crucial things to remember are that adjectives and big words are your friends. As the more intelligent that the BS-er's assignment sounds, the more likely that the assigner will be to take it at face value. And even if they decide to dig into the facts of the assignment a little bit, they can just write it off as misunderstanding rather than stupidity. Also, length is a plus. A five hundred-word assignment only looks half as good as a one thousand word assignment, because in the case of the BS-er, quantity will trump quality.

Now that the assignment is done, it must be submitted, and confidence is key. Show weakness here and all of the work that has just been done will be for nothing. Teachers fall for confidence, and if the BS-er turns in the essay looking confident, they will automatically assume that they did well on the assignment. Also, do not mention that "you bullcrapped the crap out of that one" or anything of the sort, for that may put the grader onto your trail.

That is all that it takes to BS an assignment. But while it may seem simple, it really is. Still, don't rely completely on this method for every assignment, for after ten straight submissions about obscure English kings, the teacher may be onto you.

If you feel that you have exhibited a mastery of the basics of bullshitting, feel free to take the follow up BS 202: Advanced BS, where a simple BS-ing newbie can be turned into a master, or BS 303: BS Theory, where we will wonder exactly why we are prompted to BS, and what it truly means to a person.