When it comes to programming assignments, most upper division students know how to prepare their code and what to turn in. You may be less familiar with what we expect when you prepare and submit writing assignments. Please read this sheet carefully, and read it over again each time you start a new assignment. Your grade will suffer if you don't follow these instructions.
Submission mechanics: Unless we say otherwise, you will submit each assignment in two ways: on paper at the beginning of class on the due date and electronically, using the web-based submission system at EEE. You must place your assignments in the designated folder; for example, the draft of the Instructions assignment should be placed in "AssignmentSubmission/Instructions_Draft". We may use either or both versions for grading, so it's important that you submit each assignment both ways and that your paper and electronic versions are the same. We will not accept any late assingments, so please turn in whatever you have on the due date.
Intermediate drafts: For most assignments, you will turn in a draft. Don't think of the draft as a haphazard "rough draft" or first attempt. Every one of your drafts should be as good as you can make it--thoughtful, polished work with no spelling or sentence-level errors. Typically we will edit these drafts in class; for the longer assignments, you will turn in a revised draft based on the in-class editing, which we will grade and return to you before you turn in your final version. Don't use your group editing time for proofreading; it's your job to do that in advance, so your reader can address the content.
For revised drafts that we grade, the draft accounts for one-third of the assignment's grade (the other two-thirds being the final version, of course). For each later version of an assignment that you turn in, you must turn in copies of all the earlier versions.
Grammar: We expect you, as upper-division students who have satisfied the lower-division writing requirement, to have a good command of the mechanical principles of English syntax, spelling, and punctuation. The focus of this course is on content, organization, audience, and style. We expect that you will take the time to make your assignments nearly flawless from a mechanical standpoint. We will not mark every mechanical error on your papers, but they will lower your grade, and we will ask you to resubmit assignments with significant mechanical problems. Students wishing to hone these mechanical skills should contact the Learning and Academic Resource Center on campus (http://www.uci.edu/~ugs/larc/). Finally, we stress that software-based grammar checkers can be horribly inaccurate and so should not be used blindly.
Spelling: Never rely solely on an automatic spelling checker; they help, but they do not substitute for human intelligence in proofreading. Spelling checkers locate some typographical errors, but they cannot identify such commonly occurring errors as incorrectly used words ("of" for "or," "it's" for "its," "there" for "their" or "they're") or inadvertent substitution of one valid word for another (such as "consistency" for "consistently" in the following paragraph). Always leave yourself the time for a calm, undistracted review of your document for these mechanical errors, independent of your revisions for content and style.
Length: So that we can speak consistently of the length of assignments, "one page" will refer to one standard, double-spaced page. Make sure all submitted work is double space. At roughly 30 lines of text per page and roughly 10 words per line, one page by this measure contains roughly 300 words. Typeset material from books and magazines is typically denser. You should use this as a general guideline, and not waste time counting individual words by hand. Most word processors have automatic word counters, however, which you may use if you wish.
Typography: Your papers must be typewritten or word-processed. Drafts should be double-spaced; all papers should follow the rules of good typographic design discussed in class. If at all possible, use a laser or ink-jet printer, such as those in the ICS labs. If you must use a dot-matrix printer, you must use a new, dark ribbon.
Binding: Do not use any kind of report cover. Staple together the upper left-hand corner of all pages.
Oral presentations: Please see this page for detailed suggestions.
Hints from the TA/Reader: Read this excellent set of hints from the TA/Reader who will be grading your assignments.