Assess your paper, part 1
............First the easy questions

Now that you've completed a colored footnote draft of your paper, it's time to shift perspective and to assess your paper from the perspective of a knowledgeable reader who is considering citing your paper in his or her research. The questions listed below and in the additional "Assess your Paper" sections that follow are the kind of questions--or criteria--that your professor will tend to keep in mind when grading your paper. Use this section well, make corrections, and hand in a winning paper!

First, some easily answered questions. You're in good shape if you can answer Yes to each of these questions:

  • Have you worked consistently on your paper throughout the semester? Consistent work is a pretty good indicator that the results will be solid.

  • Have you discussed your paper with your professor and made an effort to follow through on his or her suggestions? If you took a different direction, can you state clearly why you did so? Obviously, a weak answer to this question would be, "My professor is a dinosaur with quaint ideas that require much too much work, so I didn't bother."

  • Is your paper correctly documented, with footnotes and bibliography, using the University of Chicago style?

© Jan Mainzer