Releasing the Evaluation Report Layout Checklist

So I made this lovely checklist of graphic design best practices as a product of my dissertation (Standing Rule: If you want to know the details of my dissertation, you’ll have to buy me a drink). It included input from a panel of graphic designers including Peter Brakeman, Christy Kloote, Chris Metzner, and Kevin Brady.

I’ve been having such a great time travelling around the country, giving workshops on the checklist and using graphic design to improve the way we communicate in evaluation. But I’ve gotten overwhelmed with requests for the checklist, so I’ve decided to make it freely available:

Enjoy! And do post comments on your use of the checklist. (Well, your nice comments anyway.)

Leave a comment


  1. Stuart Hendersno

     /  November 8, 2011

    This is a terrific, well-designed document. I’ve passed it around to my colleagues at work–evaluators and non-evaluators. Nice work and thank you for sharing it.

  2. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for this.

    I respect your dilemma about whether or not to keep things like this proprietary Steph, as I’ve had it myself. A mentor of mine told me if I made my stuff freely available it will come back to me in spades and I have to say she was right.

    • That’s good to hear! I was also hesitating to see if my dissertation committee would have some major input on it – but that’s been approved with no edits, no changes!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! These small details make all the difference! I’ll use this on my next evaluation report.

  5. Love it! I keep it around as a reminder and am using it right now to clean up my report to the AEA Board.

    Question though, this line has never fully made sense for me: “For lines within paragraph, generally choose 1-2 points larger than the
    size of the body text.” Can you elaborate?

    • Good question. Basically, if your body text is set in 11pt (default in Word), the line spacing for that text should be 12-13pt. In Word, the new default is 1.15, just right. 1.5 line spacing or double spacing is too large for comfortable reading. Word makes it easy, but this should be checked if working in other programs. Note this rule is for narrative text – would be different for larger text, or that not intended for long reading.


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