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I'm planning to ask my students (first-year college calculus) to turn in some problems in a "final draft" form: rewritten from scratch, in linear order, with exactly the necessary steps included. I suspect other people have tried similar assignments, and I'm wondering what lessons other people have learned, and what pitfalls I should be watching out for.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I do this occasionally with some of my classes, and while I haven't done it with Calculus students, I can inform you of some common errors.

The term final draft doesn't seem to ring with all students when it pertains to mathematics homework. Determine what you would consider a final draft for this assignment. I have received a wide variety of submissions that I would not classify as final drafts. When grading these assignments, I find it is best to not give much leniency and to let the students know clearly where their final drafts need to be changed. If I am harsh at first, it makes it clear to my students exactly what I am looking for, which is care and precision when completing assignments.

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