The “Standard Prediction” Article
Step 1: Write exactly what everyone already knows.
Step 2: Make one big, risky prediction in a safe, less popular category like Supporting Actor.
Step 3: Don’t bother justifying this opinion; just say you “have a hunch.”
The “Who Ought to Win” Article
Step 1: Assume as pretentious a tone as possible.
Step 2: Politely disparage the Academy throughout.
Step 3: Decry a few historical injustices.
Step 4: Make one choice you predict the Academy will agree with, and here, go out of your way to be magnanimous.
Step 5: End the post by proclaiming The Oscars are doomed.
The “Who Will Win vs. Who Ought to Win” Article
Step 1: Disagree with most of the Academy’s impending picks.
Step 2: Frequently allude to the fact that “mainstream America” or “the general public” hasn’t seen the films you’ve chosen.
Step 3: Establish a general format for the article (bolded headings, awards by section), but periodically break this format out of laziness.
Step 4: Include one “ought to win” prediction with a funny, irreverent answer, like “No one” or “Can Skyfall get a late nod?”
The “Red Carpet” Article
Step 1: Pick a photo from EW or People Magazine, but forget to attribute it.
Step 2: Include at least one “big question” or “everyone’s wondering” paragraph about an actor who in reality, no one cares about.
Step 3: Feature a 37-page slideshow of semi-relevant pictures for the sole purpose of increasing total page views. See that the slideshow is temperamental on mobile devices so that users will have to reload the page five times just to get to slide #10.
The “How Will the Host(s) Do?” Article
Step 1: Begin the article by discussing how hosting The Oscars has always been a bit of a quagmire, and that the Academy picked the host (Seth MacFarlane) out of desperation.
Step 2: Repeat these same exact points—just using slightly different language—for two more paragraphs.
Step 3: Become impossibly ambivalent. Suggest that the opening monologue could very well become the best in years, or just as likely, the worst in modern memory. Continue to hedge each way for several sentences so that no one can fault you after the ceremony. For a quick example, flip over to CNN Headline News.
The “Indie Films are Better than Anything at The Oscars” Article
Step 1: Mock all the top contenders.
Step 2: Declare that several dozen obscure, limited-release films demonstrate far more cinematic craft and thoughtfulness.
Step 3: List these films, but do not offer further explanation.
Step 4: Conclude the article by announcing your recent purchase of tickets to a sparsely-attended, middle-America event, such as The Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Mississippi.
The “Oscars are Irrelevant!” Article
Step 1: Declare that you stopped watching The Oscars in 1998.
Step 2: Discuss Oscar travesties from recent years in great detail, explaining that you “might have flipped on the TV here and there” but that it “doesn’t actually count as watching.”
Step 3: Throw your weight behind a lesser-known award show. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve actually ever watched it, just that it’s esoteric and unpopular.
Step 4: Turn off comments for the post to further emphasize your cinematic elitism.
Step 5: Watch The Oscars anyway, post about it the next day, and excuse your actions by citing an “obligation to your readers.”
Step 6: Wait for a reader to point out your hypocritical reasoning. Turn off comments again.