I gave both 7th and 8th grade students an instructional rubric along with their essay assignment. Some of the classes received two self-assessment lessons. During the lessons, students looked at the rubric, then at their own work, and identified material in their work that demonstrated the criteria. For example, students wrote a historical-fiction essay using, as one criterion, "Bring the Time and Place Your Character Lived Alive." During the self-assessment lesson, I asked students to underline with a green marker the words time and place in their rubric. I asked them to use the same marker to underline in their essays the information about the time and place in which their characters lived. Confident that this would take only a second, students turned to their essays with green markers at the ready—and often couldn't find the information they were looking for. To their amazement, it was not there. Apparently, because the information was in their heads, they thought it was also on their paper. Self-assessment required that they look to see what was and wasn't there.