Monday, September 22, 2008

Graduate level anxiety. In Georgia.

Oh gosh. My first two papers in... well, many years. They're little ones, three-pagers, and double-spaced (I forgot about double spacing, I probably would have gone back to school years ago if I'd remembered about double spacing... what a difference that makes in filling a page!) so the writing part isn't the hard part so much as the details of paper-writing. I can't remember the details.
Do I indent at every paragraph? Do I staple the pages? Number them? Am I plagiarizing and not even knowing that I'm doing it? What size font?
My first paper is for a professor who gave us two options of what to tackle. About a page on comprehension, about a page on analysis, and about a page on "good constructive thinking." She gave us a list of expectations and directions, really- a list- which we all furiously tried to scribble in our notes, then sent us off with these words "but don't stress about this!" We laughed.
I just spent a bit of time googling for help on these questions. I found an article by a grad student whose grades improved when she switched from Times New Roman to the Georgia font. Just to be sure I checked the Chronicle of Higher Education forums for a discussion there- they all mentioned both those fonts and I felt encouraged by their comments about Georgia, so I went ahead and changed mine over- which meant having to fiddle with the type size to fit it into three pages (exactly, as it turned out!), but they seemed pretty much equal, all things considered.
So, whether it's done right or wrong, one paper's done and one's still yet to be written. Wish me luck!