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"What are the Requirements?" - Reading the Assignment Fully

Read the assignment all the way through as soon as possible after you receive it. Underline answers to the questions below:

  • How long should the paper be?
  • Am I free to shape the final product myself, or has the professor described its parts and/or its order?
  • Has the professor given me a series of due dates for completing specific tasks of the larger assignment, such as submitting an annotated bibliography, a tentative thesis, an outline, or a first draft?
  • Has the professor indicated a certain documentation style, such as MLA (Modern Language Assocation), APA (American Psychological Association), or Chicago Manual Style? (for more information on MLA and APA, see Research Strategies)
  • Has the professor specified the paper's design, such as the standard 1-inch margins, double-spacing, and numbered as well as stapled pages?