This revision checklist was written for MIT’s Project Laboratory in Mathematics in the Spring of 2014, to provide students with strategies for revising their research paper drafts. By Susan Ruff and David Jerison.

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Guidance for TAs for how to assign grades on a term paper draft. Includes a single-category rubric for the draft (based on effort and completeness) as well as a single-category rubric for the final paper (based on quality). This second rubric was used to supply an “advisory grade” in addition to the first-draft effort/completeness grade. From MIT’s Principles of Applied Mathematics.

Read more →This assignment is from M.I.T.’s communication-intensive offering of Real Analysis. After students receive peer critique on their proofs, they are assigned to revise the proofs. This assignment gives some brief revision guidance.

Read more →These drafts of an article by Mark McLean illustrate how a proof can be improved by pulling out a lemma. Although the article is on an analysis topic beyond the understanding of Real Analysis students, Mohammed Abouzaid has drawn attention to the structure of the article by highlighting relevant guiding text, so the improvement caused by pulling out a lemma is clear.

Read more →Revision is an important part of the writing process, but many undergraduates are not yet aware of its value. The following teaching strategies may help students to revise effectively: To help undergraduates to see the value of revision, consider describing your own writing process. By showing students an early draft and a later draft of your own writing, you can draw attention to those aspects of writing that you consider to be most important. See, for example, the description of Pedro Reis’ writing workshop. Include revision in the assignment schedule. Here is one example of how to grade a draft

Read more →It is extremely helpful for students to rehearse at least their first presentation with you. (drawback: significant time commitment from the instructor.) Mia Minnes writes of her experience using practice presentations in M.I.T.’s Seminar in Mathematical Logic, “I found that the rehearsals of presenations for my seminar last year were very beneficial to the students and drastically improved the experience (for the audience too!). Most of my students had never spoken in front of a group before, not to mention written on the blackboard, and the rehearsal with me brought to light things they needed to work on before their

Read more →[The following notes are from Steven Kleiman’s 2010 Undergraduate Seminar in Computational Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry at MIT.] Another innovation, this spring of 2010, was requiring incremental drafts of the term papers. First, the week after spring break, all ten students handed in a one-page outlines, showing that they done preliminary research of a topic and made a stab at organizing it. The outlines were good, but usually overly ambitious. The next week, the first third of the paper was due. I read each draft, and discussed it individually with its author. The discussions lasted about fifteen minutes and

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