After graduating from university is there a practical reason I would want to keep record of my previous assignments? I have a hard-drive full of them. Are there more practical reasons I don't see other than the sentimental value?

  • 2
    What do you plan on doing? Perhaps if you plan on going to academia and want them for a template for your own courses. Or, technical notes might be helpful for industry (e.g., engineering notes or lesson plans for a teacher). My own rule of thumb was to keep notes if the material contained in them could not be readily found in textbook. May 11 '17 at 21:27


(1) You might have to prove to people that you took these classes. Transcripts may become unavailable or untrusted.

(2) Perhaps you'll find something of use for your own research or writing in them. Happened to me at least twice in graduate classes. (For example, a lemma I proved in homework turned out to be useful in a proof I wanted to write up elsewhere.) Of course, you probably will not want to reuse them verbatim (I cringe when I read my writing from 10 years ago), but they still can be better than nothing.

(3) You might eventually want to revisit one of the classes you have "casually" taken, for example because its subject is leaking into yours. By looking back on your homework, you'll get a quick impression of where you have left it (although this is only a good thing if you have been learning it reasonably thoroughly; if you were sloppy, then it might be better to start from scratch).

(4) In order to encourage your own students to submit LaTeXed assignments, you will want to provide a usable blank LaTeX template for them. And where do you get such a thing? (Well, there are several places, but one is in your own homework folder.)

  • 2
    Where did you get point 4 from? The original question made no mention of LaTeX. May 11 '17 at 21:24
  • 2
    @RichardErickson - I think that was a specific instance of a general occurrence. I constantly reuse various formats, some of which have persisted through decades with occasional updates to (at the time) glitzy new software packages. TeX is particularly good since what you did 30 years ago still works today just fine (unlike certain other common formats - good luck with WordPerfect).
    – Jon Custer
    May 11 '17 at 22:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.