Saturday, May 24, 2008

Final Paper due before 5:00PM on July 31

You got the syllabus on the first day of class and you have clear recall of the prof's words . . . "the final assignment due for this course is a 15 - 20 page paper that represents your best thinking on the material we'll cover in the next 16 weeks."

There are some striking similarities between the launch of the new W&M website on July 31 and the final paper due in some courses. To prepare, you gather information and read what others have to say on the topic. Perhaps you develop an outline to help structure the content you'll present and often, you have a first draft.

You get where I'm going with this - some of you already have a knot in your stomach remembering your own student paper-writing days. At some point, and not two night's before the due date if you can prevent it, you have to start writing. In 20 years of teaching at W&M, I've heard my husband Larry say this many a time to the panicked voice on the other end of the phone, "Okay, what I want you to do is make a pot of coffee, sit down at your computer, and start typing. Don't edit, just let the ideas flow, you'll go back and perfect it later. Before you realize it, you'll have five pages."

We're about there with re.web - it's time to make the pot of coffee and not look up until the soft launch we're planning for just prior to the real launch on July 31. We're likely to begin posting to this blog once a week instead of almost daily. Hope you'll understand our singular focus in the next 10 weeks.

posted by Susan Evans

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