Advice from the Desk
of Michael Delahoyde
I usually have the energy to meet, match, and checkmate
all challengers in all the game-playing that goes on regarding
the submission of assignments. Here are final statements about
turning in papers, showing I've seen and snorted at all possible
1) Papers must meet the required length. Professors will
look skeptically upon short manuscripts. They will resent (consciously
or not) the presumptuousness of the student who seems to be saying,
"I can do this cheap assignment in half the required length!"
Assignments not meeting the length requirements are considered
in my book to be, at best, D papers. This is because I assign
a page length for well-considered reasons, and it is almost certain
that short papers are failing to meet crucial criteria of the
assignment. Mercy may be given in a rare case, but students are
advised not to hold their breath.
2) Staple the paper once in the upper left-hand corner.
Folders and those plastic things are cumbersome. Envelopes are
a holy pain. Students: save up all the money that you waste on
that plastic crap and buy a stapler. Please e-mail and explain
to me why I'm invariably asked if I have a stapler (read: on me
at the moment before class begins). I'm working on a theory,
the crux of which is that these people are idiots. Also, my heart
sinks when some yipsha doesn't have the paper stapled and starts
with the damned origami in the corner of the sheets: an elaborate
system of bends and tears making the manuscript now look like
crap (and not hold together anyway).
3) Turn the paper in on time. I'm not for a moment buying the supposedly ironic and implicit statement that classwork is conflicting with class, so therefore you're not attending class on paper-due day and maybe I can expect the manuscript on the filthy floor of my office when I get back after teaching several dozen more honorable people. In other words, truancy is no excuse: i.e., "I couldn't get my paper in 'cause I cut class." I'm not Huey Lewis but here's the news, Chuckles: it is not my responsibility to check my box or office floor for delinquent papers. Other slimy excuses? Had 'em, heard 'em, wonk:
Hey, wait! I have an idea! Do the assignment and turn in the paper!