I have a teacher who freaks out if papers are not stapled. She devotes several minutes of each class to staple mini-lectures—rants and stories with ominous endings involving non-stapled papers in classes past. Heaven forbid if she found any papers with creased or torn corners in lieu of staples. Her threats became serious to me when she mentioned the consequences—papers not stapled go to the grade-last pile, and you never, ever want your assignment to end up there. The grade-last pile is graded after the coffee has cooled; patience is thin, time is up and the unstapled misfits are only fit of rage away from being banished to zero-land.
Youtube to the rescue again. How do I staple a paper? Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. The papers that provoke me most are stapled in odd places—wait, could I be coming down with the same mania? The Youtube staple gods pointed out that there is, in fact, a lot of wrong ways to staple a paper: Never put the staple in the center of the page, nor on the side nor on the top nor shalt thou ever put the prongs up. Proper placement is a Goldilocks dilemma; it should be on the top left corner of the page—not too close to the edge, not too far into the paper, not on an angle, and not perpendicular to the top edge. Papers need to be stapled while they are flat or else they could become misaligned, and that just won’t work. My message to professors is this: Do it right, I’m your friend forever, but mess up something so elementary and…it won’t be nice.