I’m teaching a couple of classes, Introduction to R and Introduction to SAS, and I’m finding that students will turn in homework a variety of different ways. I’m fine with this up to a point, but I think that I should encourage a simple uniform approach, because out in the real world, your boss or your clients will not appreciate a haphazard and disorganized approach. Here’s a suggested format for homework assignments that will (hopefully) get you in the practice of turning into things in an organized fashion.

Here are some guidelines for submission of your homework. Do not follow these guidelines slavishly, and if you have a good reason to ignore one of these recommendations, you will not be penalized. Try, however, to follow these guidelines as best you can. In the real world, you will find that your boss and your clients will appreciate an organized and consistent format.

Every assignment that you turn in should have a report of one page or less. The report is followed by tables, figures, and appendices.

Write your report in plain English with no formulas, no jargon, no computer code, and no raw output. Include the verbatim text of the homework assignment as part of your report, but use a style such as bold, italic, indentation, etc. so it is clear what you have written and what you have copied from the homework assignment.

Your report should have a header with your name, the name of the class, and the name of the homework assignment, and a date.

Your report should be short. Normally one page is sufficient, and for some assignments, you may need as little as a couple of sentences.

If you have graphs, they should be numbered and appear one per page with a brief descriptive title. You can put two or more graphs on the same page, but only if your intent is to compare or contrast those graphs in your report. The interpretation of your graph belongs in the main section and not with the individual graphs, with the possible exception of a brief title or a few labels on the axes or in the graph itself. If a graph that does not warrant a comment in your report, put it in the appendix or (better yet) leave it out entirely.

Each table should numbered and appear one per page with a brief descriptive title. With very rare exceptions, no table should take more than a single page. You can put two or more closely related tables on a single page, but only if your intent is to compare or contrast those tables in your main section. The interpretation of your tables belongs in the main section and not with the individual tables, with the possible exception of a brief title or a few footnotes. If a table does not warrant a comment in your report, put it in the appendix or leave it out entirely.

If you do not know how to interpret a graph or table that you generated, please post a question