8. Require a metalearning essay. On the day you collect the papers, have students write an in-class essay about what they learned from the assignment. What problems did they face and how did they overcome them? What research strategy did they follow? Where did they locate most of their sources? What is the most important thing they learned from investigating this subject? For most students, who actually did the research paper, this assignment will help them think about their own learning. It also provides you with information about the students' knowledge of their papers and it gives you a writing sample to compare with the papers. If a student's knowledge of the paper and its process seems modest or if the in-class essay quality diverges strikingly from the writing ability shown in the paper, further investigation is probably warranted.
Consider the example of Robert Moses, arguably the most famous bill drafter of the twentieth century, who developed his own drafting style to strongly influence the infrastructure and development of New York State.  Known as the “master builder,” Moses was a political scientist who utilized his powerful drafting skills to affect society. Much ink has been spilled over the controversial legacy of Robert Moses, but what is certain is that he was able to harness his legislative drafting skills to accomplish his goals, such as setting up the Jones Beach State Park Authority, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, and unifying the five boroughs’ parks departments in New York City. The unification of the parks departments resulted in the fact that, within months, 1,700 projects were finished, including the rebuilding of the Central Park Zoo.  His drafting abilities allowed him to draft legislation for public authorities and affect city planning both in New York City and throughout the nation. The accomplishments that stemmed from Robert Moses’ skilled drafting were lauded at the time by the New York Times as “little short of miraculous.”