Research & Documentation Experience. It seems that more and more high school students have little to no experience writing longer research projects. As early as possible, introduce your student writer to Modern Language Association (MLA) format, because frequently it is used in college English courses and other humanities courses. Some of the different elements of formatting that a student should become familiar with include how to compile and format a Works Cited assignment, placement of punctuation in citations, and how to avoid plagiarism. A word about plagiarism: home educators may not realize how easy it is to plagiarize, particularly from online sources. Colleges and universities typically discipline plagiarism not based on intent but based on blatant copying of work. Research and documentation are probably the least enjoyed aspects of college writing, but through those practices we honor God by telling the truth and not stealing from others.

Academic Protocol. From the first day of class, the college student should feel comfortable enough to humbly and respectfully approach his instructor for clarification or with questions. College instructors expect students to take the initiative and think independently. 

Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, Fall 2011. Visit The Old Schoolhouse® at  to view a full-length sample copy of the magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left. Email the Publisher at