All this week, the necessity of making a document that would be the end of all documents pressed on me like a weight, a powerful physical force that made me feel that my character, my job performance, my reason for being in this world, all depended upon an excellent, perfect handout that would explain everything there is, and ever will be, to know about how to integrate and document source material in every possible rhetorical situation.
Possibly, I am overstating; and yet what other explanation is there for the amount of time I spent trying to adjust the placement of text and image in Dreamweaver; figuring out how to import little handmade concept maps; in fact, making the little concept maps; developing simple tables and importing those; choosing a font (serif? sans serif? what would be best? what would communicate the importance, the documenting-sources-is-next-to-Godliness of it all?); how to get it all on one page, so that a handy exercise for practicing it all could fit on the back; how to make comments on the little bit of MLA-formatted academic writing I borrowed, so students could see the nifty little machine that MLA-style documentation is; etc., and so forth. And so on.
Well, there you have it, a super fancy handout, what I'm calling a self-teaching artifact: error-proof, teacher-proof, even, except for the handful of typos I found after I'd printed out 20 copies on a color copier.