References & Black Marks

Often students ask me for a reference when they are leaving college and applying to do further study or for a job. I am happy to provide a reference but it helps if

If a student annoys me enough by not putting in sufficient effort, not following tutorial etiquette or by some other academic lapse, I place a black mark against their name. As a reference usually contains comments on a student's attitude to study I do not recommend asking me for a reference if you have three or more black marks against your name.