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Notebook Checklist

This checklist is to help you ensure your notebook is well-structured and well-written. I may expand or revise it as we progress through the semester.


  • Does the notebook re-run without error from top to bottom?
  • Does re-running the notebook produce correct charts and results?
  • Does the notebook begin with the document title as an L1 heading?
  • Are headings correctly nested (H2 within H1, H3 in H2, etc.)?
  • Are headings short titles? (No full sentences!)

Writing and Output

  • Does the introduction state the notebook's purpose?
  • Does either the introduction or the data section describe where the data come from?
    • If it's publicly downloadable, is there a link?
    • If there are multiple options, which one is used?
  • Does it use correct grammar and spelling?
  • Does it use formatting to provide appropriate emphasis and clarity?
    • Are Python variable, function, etc. names marked as code?
    • Are lists used when helpful to break down points?
    • Is mathematical notation used to precisely define measurements when it will increase clarity?
  • Do all outputs help advance the notebook's story? Have you removed ones only for debugging or trying things out?
  • Do charts & conclusion-supporting outputs have surrounding text explaining their purpose and any extra information needed for accurate interpretation?


  • Do all charts have properly labeled axes and legends (color codes, etc.)?
  • Do charts have titles if purpose is not clear from axes or immediately preceding text?
    • If there are multiple variants of a chart w/ same axes, they must have titles to quickly distinguish.
  • Are charts legible?
  • Do charts present lessons learned without distortions?
  • If you did not create the chart, would you be able to interpret it correctly?
  • Do facets, colors, and axes draw the reader to the most important comparisons or patterns?
  • Does surrounding text, if any, accurately interpret the chart?

The Data Visualization Checklist is useful, if opinionated.


  • Are observations and conclusions substantiated by data and/or sound argument?
  • Are goals and observations made clear, both for the document and for individual pieces of analysis?