Assignments: Formatting, Guidelines, and Submission

Assignments: Formatting, Guidelines, and Submission


  • All essays/projects/reflections/formal writing assignments must be double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides (this is not the default in Microsoft Word: you must go in and change this), and typed with Times New Roman font, size 12).
  • At the top left on the first page of your essay (not a separate cover page), include your name, the essay assignment (and whether it is a first draft or final draft, if relevant), my name (Professor Belli), and the date.
  • Include your last name and page number (with nothing between) 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; don’t leave extra spaces above/below the title).
  • 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 drafting, writing, revising process for that assignment. This is an essential part of the assignment, and submissions without it will not be accepted.
  • If a specific assignment requires a “portfolio,” the final draft will be submitted in a “portfolio” (a folder, 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 essay 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 to my office hours conference with my about your writing. I encourage scheduling an appointment with me in advance of the due dates if you would like to discuss your work, to ensure we have time to meet. (You can also visit the City Tech Learning Center to work on your writing).
  • 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. Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due at start of class, 2:30pm, 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 via our OpenLab blogging, 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.
  • 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 involves plagiarism (in any capacity) will automatically fail the assignment and may result in failure of the course. Additionally, any instance of plagiarism (no matter how small) is required to be reported to the college via an official form and procedure. 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). 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.

Dropbox & Submitting your Assignments Electronically

  • For our course this semester, you will be submitting your assignments digitally, via Dropbox. To do this, you will be submitting files via a unique link I provide for each assignment (do not post these assignments to our OpenLab course site as a blog post).
  • Registering for a Dropbox account is not required, but if you don’t already have a Dropbox account, I encourage you to register for a free Dropbox account. You can choose to install Dropbox on your computer, tablet, or mobile device: this will sync all of your files automatically among various devices, and is a great way to back up your work and have it with you at all times. Otherwise, you can always access all of your files by signing into your Dropbox account on the web, from any location.
  • Do not post anything except the required assignments to assignment links 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. The assignments you submit for this course 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). I encourage to take the quick Dropbox tour under “Get Started” so you get a sense for how the service works.
  • Make sure you submit your essays as a Word file (.doc or .docx): do not submit .pdf, .odt, .wps files, etc. If you do not submit your file as a Word document, you will not receive credit for your work. 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., John Smith, Essay 1, First Draft
  • Your Reflective Cover Letter should be the first page of your essay 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, you want to make sure you still have access to your work.