Boilerplate comments for

Revising and Editing the "Adopting the Creator Mindset Essay"

Engineers in hard hats


  1. Steel in the form of flat plates used in making steam boilers
  2. A copy made with the intention of making other copies from it
  3. In information technology, a boilerplate is a unit of writing that can be reused over and over without change.

Grading rubric, outline and instructions for the Creator Mindset essay.

1. Thesis statements:

2. Show a little bit about what the Creator student did to get her book

3. Pronoun agreement: The first student said they couldn’t get their book because the bookstore ran out.

4. Avoid meta-discourse in academic essays. It is where you discuss your research or writing processes unnecessarily.

5. Headings and headers: Heading is on the first page, name, date, course, assignment; header, if you use one, is on the inside pages and is simply your last name and the page number. Set it up in MS Word, but don’t ask me how; or else don’t include it since these papers are short.

6. Creator and Victim (caps.) when referring to the terms as Downing defines them

7. Close quote marks: commas and periods always go inside. Here is why: scroll to the bottom of the page for an explanation.

8. Works Cited: view the sample researched paper to see what this section should look like.

9. Second person pronouns: use only when intentionally addressing the audience, and use VERY sparingly, if at all. See the video again to understand why not to do it  and how to avoid 2nd person.

10. Whose students did Prof. Mirman describe in his article? What is their gender?

11. Be sure to paraphrase Prof. Mirman’s thesis at the close of your summary paragraph

12. Don’t preach at your readers or boss them around: no YOUs, please. The essay is about you, not about your readers.

13. Parenthetically cite the page number for the paraphrases of Downing’s definitions.

14. The conclusion: “I will study harder.”  “I will study more.”   “I will study two hours per day.”  Yeah, yeah, yeah—but what does this MEAN? How do you study? It can’t be the same for math as it is for English, which is different from studying for history. So what does this studying look like? Where does it take place? What hours do you study for which classes? What resources do you use when you study? What are your note taking strategies? How are you connecting with others to help you to be successful? Who is supporting you toward your goals of succeeding in college? Who is holding you back? What are you going to do about those people who are supporting your goals?

15 The conclusion: What ARE your specific goals? “I want to do well.”  I want to earn an A.A in two years.”  “I want to transfer to Virginia Tech next year.”  What does it mean to YOU to “do well”? Do you want to pass with Cs and Ds? What GPA will you need to get into Tech?

16. Consider audience: In Downing’s book . . . In Mirman’s article . . . What do your readers know about these people except for what you tell them?

17. Re-read Downing’s definition of “Victim.” It’s not just being lazy. It’s not just lying or making up excuses for cutting class or work. It’s not just being unsuccessful. It’s a mindset, a set of beliefs about oneself that shapes his or her behaviors and patterns of thinking. Most frequently, Victims aren’t even aware that they are creating their own outcomes by taking no action, by accepting things as they are, by doing the same things over and over but expecting different and better results, by not taking charge of their outcomes because they don’t believe they can control or affect their outcomes in life. Don’t tell a story that’s just about lying or making excuses. Tell about a time when you deceived yourself into thinking you should have had successful outcomes, but when you didn’t, you blamed circumstances outside of yourself for the results, when all along you could have shaped the outcomes if you had acted differently. This could be a school project, test-taking, a situation at work, a botched relationship; a failure in a sport, extra-curricular activity, family situation, pet ownership, car ownership, etc., etc. Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Still true 2500 years later.