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Delayla has a major paper due at the end of the term. It’s now past midterm and she still hasn’t started to work on it. She keeps telling herself, “I should have started sooner,” but she continues to postpone her work and is becoming increasingly anxious and guilty. To relieve her growing anxiety and guilt, Delayla starts doing other tasks instead, such as cleaning her house and returning e-mails. This makes her feel a little better because these tasks keep her busy, take her mind off the term paper, and give her the feeling that at least she’s getting something accomplished. Time continues to pass; the deadline for the paper grows dangerously close. Delayla now finds herself in the position of having lots of work to do and little time in which to do it.

What do you expect Delayla will do at this point? Why?

What grade do you think she’ll end up receiving on her paper?
Other than simply starting sooner, what else could Delayla (and other procrastinators like her) do to break the cycle of procrastination?
Can you relate to this student’s predicament, or do you know other students who often find themselves in this predicament?

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