8 Surefire Ways to Get your Students to Save Ink and Paper

By: James Kara Murat

As a teacher, your job is not limited to teaching your students the rudiments of math, the foundations of science, the secrets of history, or the wonders of literature. It is also your job to teach your students to be responsible. Encourage your students to save on ink and paper by using these tips:

1. Require at least a couple of book sources for your assigned papers.

Requiring your students to use book sources will encourage them to actually read rather than scan or use other options like photocopying book pages using recycled paper for their sources instead of printing Internet pages.

2. Encourage the use of the draft setting for first drafts.

If you require your students to submit drafts of their papers, encourage them to use their printers' draft setting. Since you will undoubtedly end up marking the pages in red, it's a waste of good ink and paper. Using the draft setting will use little ink and thus, save a lot.

3. Teach students to proofread papers prior to printing.

Teach your students to check for grammar, spelling, and factual errors in their papers prior to printing. This will help them save ink and paper by preventing a lot of reprints due to errors in the text.

4. Extol the virtues of "Print Preview."

Stress the importance of previewing pages before printing. This ensures that everything will look like they should on paper. Doing so will let them save ink and paper by preventing misprints.

5. Opt for online submissions whenever possible.

For short assignments, require your students to submit their papers online. Electronic submissions do not use ink and paper so students will be able to save these resources for more detailed presentations.

6. Stress the importance of turning off the printer properly.

Turning off printers instantly may cause the print heads to stop moving before they are in their proper positions. This can cause ink to dry up faster.

7. Require the use of black ink for text-only papers.

If an assignment does not require complicated charts or images, require your students to use only black ink. Alternatively, if picture is needed to stress a point, allow the use of gray-scaled images.

8. Make students understand that quality is better the quantity.

A longer paper does not guarantee a better grade compared to a shorter paper with more substance. Make your students understand this and they will submit shorter papers that are straightforward and more substantial. This also goes for printer inks. Tell students that it's better to buy a more expensive ink cartridge that doesn't smudge than a lot of cheaper cartridges that smudge or dry up without reason.

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