Those of you who’ve been following me for a while will recall that Once Upon A Time I included checklists at the end of my assignment sheets, telling students (in exacting detail) all the things I wanted them to consider before they turned in a paper. Those particular checklists communicated my distrust – they were entirely about me thinking everyone would get everything wrong without them, and trying to head that off at the pass. I eventually did away with them when I realized how potentially damaging they were.
But this term, I realized my students could use a different kind of checklist – one that both gave them helpful information as they wrote their papers and did so in a way that illustrated some of the tricky details involved in formatting a paper correctly. I realized I could show students what footnotes looked like, and citation, and indenting paragraphs, and adding page numbers if I just did it on the checklist sheet. And so I came up with the checklist below:
This checklist isn’t punitive – it’s not offered within a framework of “do this or your grade will suffer.” It’s merely a means to provide examples of details with which students often struggle. I offer this in case it’s useful to anyone else. Please feel free to adapt as needed to your own situation, and your own students!