Style Sheets for Student Writers

Time required: Medium

Grading: Could be used as part of a rubric or simply as a guide for students in a course or on a specific assignment within a course

Disciplines: All

Why: Providing students with clarity on your expectations for the stylistic conventions they should follow in your class or on specific assignments will prevent misunderstandings and improve the quality of student work

How: Some of the conventions we expect students to follow in their writing are grammatical rules—such as using a period at the end of a sentence or a comma before a coordinating conjunction. Others, though, are our own stylistic preferences as instructors—such as the use of the first-person voice or the appropriateness of ending a sentence in a preposition. Preferences vary from instructor to instructor (and perhaps assignment to assignment). Students won’t know your preferences unless you tell them and offer them some guidelines to follow.

Create a “style sheet,” using the sample style sheet found here: 

Fill it in to fit your own preferences. This could be detailed and attached to each assignment where applicable, or it could be something you provide for students at the beginning of the semester that applies to all written work in the class.

From Jill Reglin, Integrated English Faculty
Learning Commons Writing Studio Lead Faculty