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#5279 – underpants on coathangers

ever get the feeling that somebody is trying too damn hard? i’m reading through this syllabus for my information systems in health care course, and it reads like it was written by arnold j rimmer:

7 Exercises

7.1 Answer Guidelines

7.1.1 Overall

You will select the exercises associated with 3 chapters for each of the three sections of the course and answer them.

7.1.2 Inside the File

7.1.2.1 Structure

Put your answers in one file. By way of background, logical markup represents the structure and meaning of a document. Physical markup represents specific visual effects that carry little semantic meaning. For instance, preceding this paragraph was the logical heading Structure which in Word was marked-up as “Heading 2”. That it might display in bold, italicized font is a function of the mapping from logical to physical structure that was specified in the formatting instructions of this particular document. When i put this word in italics, I am exercising physical markup.

Use logical markup to distinguish the parts of your document. In particular, place the title of the first question at the beginning of your answer for the first question (for instance, if the first exercise you chose is called ‘Challenges’, then select that title in your answer and make its style ‘Heading 1’). Do the same for the second exercise, namely, put the title before the answer and make it a ‘Heading 1’ style. If your answers have themselves logical subsections, as they should, then mark them appropriately too, as ‘heading 2’ for level-2 headings, ‘heading 3’ for level-3 headings, and so on. Then generate a table of contents at the beginning of the file using the Microsoft generate table of contents option – it is generated automatically from the ‘headings’ styles.

To repeat: to use logical markup, you first enter a heading into the answer, like ‘Need for Accuracy’. Then you select the term ‘Need for Accuracy’. Then you go to the style drop down box in Word and select the appropriate heading level, say it is ‘Heading 2’. Later to generate the Table of Contents, you simple point to the beginning of the document, select ‘Insert’ from the drop-down menu, then select ‘Index/Tables’, and then select ‘Table of Contents”. You should be able to get help with technical things from the OIT Help Desk and with English writing things from other sources in the university.

i wish i just made all that up.

i should become a professor if only to tell my students to send everything as plain text documents, or to format their documents with markdown, since i’m so sick of professors demanding microsoft-formatted documents, but reading this syllabus as a whole really takes the cake. blargh!