So I do a lot of readings for classes in the form of PDFs, some but very much not all of which have dates on them. Usually I don't see the dates anyway, because they're in tiny print buried on a page at the end or at the front, the part you skip over to get to the actual reading.
And usually, about a third of the way through every reading, I find myself wondering when it was written -- because that informs a huge amount of the context I should be taking from it. Was this written before X thinker totally tore these ideas apart? Should I be looking at this as derivative of Y, or a precursor to it? What historical events is this author ignoring, and what historical events just straight up hadn't happened yet?
So, I would like to make a recommendation to all my professors. (Here, on my blog, which none of my professors read. And no, I won't be sharing this with them. This is rhetorical.)
When you're scanning texts to share sections as a PDF, take a post-it note, and, in huge sharpie letters, write the year of first publication and stick it to the first page of the reading. I think it would be a big help.