Assignments: Formatting, Guidelines, Submission


  • Unless otherwise stated, all formal writing assignments (except those written/submitted in class) must be double-spaced (use one-inch margins on all sides: this is not the default in Microsoft Word: you must go in and change this) and typed (Times New Roman font, size 12).
  • Make sure to include your name, the assignment name (and whether it is a first draft or final draft), my name (Professor Belli), and the date.  Also, include your last name and page number on the top right corner of each page in the header.
  • Include a title for your essay (center but do not underline or italicize; do not use quotation marks or bold/larger font).
  • If required to submit a printed copy of your project, staple your papers (do not paperclip them or leave the papers loose).
  • Your writing, at all stages, will be accompanied with a “Reflective” Cover Letter that discusses your writing for that assignment. This is an essential part of the assignment, and submissions without it will not be accepted.
  • Final Drafts of work will be submitted in a “portfolio” (which must include all drafts of your work–including freewriting, pre-drafts, first drafts, final drafts; my comments; peer review comments; and reflections).


General Guidelines

  • You should carefully proofread your compositions to eliminate spelling, grammatical, syntactical, and organizational errors.  Do not rely simply on a computer spelling/grammar check to do your proofreading.  Read your essay out loud – you are much more likely to catch errors this way.
  • I encourage you to come conference with my about your writing for your projects; however, due to the time constraints often present and the number of students who may wish to come see me (especially between the first and final drafts), I would encourage scheduling an appointment with me in advance of the due dates if you would like to discuss your work.
  • If you do not have a computer or a printer at home (or if they temporarily do not work), you should use the resources that City Tech offers you: there are Computer Labs throughout campus where you can work and print your writing. Do not wait until the afternoon a draft is due to write, proofread, or print it (assignments are due at 2:15pm on either Tuedays or Thursdays, at the start of class, and will not be accepted later if you are late to class or miss class).
  • In class discussions, during peer review of assignments, and on our blogging on our course OpenLab site, everyone has access to everyone’s writing/work). While discussion, sharing ideas, and collaboration is encouraged in this course, everyone is responsible for producing his/her own original work on all assignments (unless otherwise indicated).
  • Your writing may be submitted to SafeAssign, which is a software that checks writing for plagiarism (instructors regularly do this when you submit assignments to Blackboard). Any assignment that involve plagiarism (in any form) will automatically fail the assignment and may result in failure of the course.
  • For more information on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, refer to the City Tech Academic Integrity Policy and the resources on our syllabus/course site (you may also wish consult additional resources such as the UNC Writing Center’s handout on plagiarism), and please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions about academic integrity in this course or beyond. If you have any questions/concerns about plagiarism beyond what we discuss in class, it is your responsibility to notify me immediately so I can provide further clarification.


Submitting your Assignments Electronically

  • As the semester progresses and assignments are due, you will be submitting drafts of your work digitally (either to Dropbox, via a link I provide, or through OpenLab).
  • submit your essays as a Word file (.doc or .docx). If you do not submit your file as a Word document, you will not receive credit for your work (I may not be able to open the file). Do not submit .pdf, .odt, .wps files, etc. If you are using another program such as Open Office or Microsoft Works, you can easily save the file as a Word document. Otherwise, you can access Microsoft Word on City Tech computers.
  • In order to receive credit for your work, each file must be labeled with your full name, the assignment, and draft (when applicable): e.g., Jill Belli, Essay 1, First Draft
  • Files that are not a word document or are not labeled correctly will receive no credit.
  • Your Reflective Cover Letter should be the first page(s) of your project file. Do not send me two separate files.
  • Remember to ALWAYS keep a copy of your submitted work/files elsewhere on your computer for your own records. Throughout this semester and in the future (future semesters/years), you want to make sure you still have access to your work.
  • You should also have access to all of your files during our class sessions as well. I encourage you to make use of a cloud-based file storage/sharing service, like GoogleDrive or Dropbox (if you don’t have a Dropbox account, click here to sign up for one / install it on your devices), so that you have access to your work on the go.


  • For our course this semester, you will be submitting some of your compositions (including projects) electronically, via Dropbox. To do this, you will be submitting files via a unique link I provide for each assignment.
  • Registering for a free Dropbox account and submitting your work (when required) to our class folder is mandatory. Whenever the Schedule or an Assignment indicates that writing must be submitted to Dropbox, that means you submit it via the link I provide (do not post these assignments to our OpenLab course site; when something should be posted to our course site, it will be indicated on the schedule as “Blog”).
  • If you own a laptop or home computer, you may choose to install Dropbox on your computer (you can also install Dropbox on mobile devices, tablets, etc.). I highly recommend doing the install … it syncs all of your documents automatically between that device (or across devices if you install it on multiple devices) and is a great way to back up your work and have it with you at all times (e.g., you can access your documents from your home computer and at City Tech). If you choose not to install or don’t have a home computer, you can always access all of your files by signing into your account on the main Dropbox site ( whenever you have an Internet connection: this means that you can access your Dropbox files from any computer that is online at City Tech.
  • The assignments you submit to me which will only take up a little bit of space in your Dropbox account. However, the Dropbox account you sign up for is yours, it is free, and you can use it to sync/back-up your other documents (nobody will have access to those documents except for you unless you choose to share folders with other people). Do not post anything except the required assignments to the link I provide. With your Dropbox account, in addition to hosting your submitted assignments you can also create your own folders (for your private documents) to organize/archive your files. I encourage to take the quick Dropbox tour under “Get Started” so you get a sense for how the service works.