One month preceding paper:
Me: *does preliminary research* This time I will *not* leave it 'til the last minute! Really!
Brain: *cheerfully agrees*
Me: *photocopies three billion pages, checks out appropriate books, goes home satisfied at having started*
Me: *does not think about it for two weeks*
Two weeks preceding paper:
Me: Need a topic. Need an outline. Need a structure.
Brain: *spews out delightful and incoherent yet extremely enthusiastic nonsense*
Two days preceding paper:
Me: Ack! Down to hours! Give me something, damnit!
Brain: *helpfully offers scenes from Buffy fic and Incredibles crossovers*
Me: *watches Firefly*
Halfway through paper, night before:
Me: *typetypetype* This sucks. *redoes all research*
Brain: *suddenly perks up from encouraging out-loud dialogue-scripting for the giant crossover fic from Hell* Hey! That looks good! Hey! A theme!
Me: A topic! I have a topic!
Me: *writes in LJ insteaad*
EDIT: BTW, Wilde totally beat me to Unpinions. *is unsure of how to take this*
Also, these people on Conan are in desperate need of a pitchpipe. I'd help them out, but I totally wasn't paying attention when he introduced them.