Instructions for weekly essays

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Basic format

Length: 750-1000 words, unless instructed otherwise. That's about 3-4 pages if you use 1-in. margins, double-spaced, 12-point proportional font).

PLEASE DOUBLE-SPACE. If you print your essay, you may print on both sides of the page. If you have a stapler, use it.

Include your name and the due date at the top of the first page.

Stylistically: Think of your essayas something like a short blogpost, brief review, or memo. No need for a title or concluding paragraph; but it's usually a good idea to indicate in the first paragraph how you are going to approach the essay topic.



Quotations must be attributed appropriately. References to quotations or other specific information from an assigned reading may be given simply by author and page number; no formal reference list is needed. No need to obsess about this; we're all reading the same material.

Any outside sources you use should be cited fully, whether in-line or in a footnote or endnote. (This is not part of the word count!) The reference format doesn't matter, but it should be possible for your reader to immediately locate exactly the source to which you are referring.


Turning in your essay

Your essay is due at the beginning of class on the due date assigned. Late papers will be penalized 2 points per weekday, up to a maximum of 10 points out of 20 possible.

You may turn in your essay in class on paper, or by email as a Word or PDF attachment sent to both the instructor and the instructor's assistant. Email attachments should have your name and the due date in the filename, and should include the appropriate file extension (".docx", "pdf", etc.).