I assume the receptacle is the plug: am I correct?There is a strip guide on the back of the receptacle.
Is the conductor the white protective covering or the copper? I assume the copper, as copper conducts electricity. There should be at least 3" inches of covered wire from the box, correct?I would not cut any length off the conductor. You should have at least 3" past the open face of the box.
Does this rule go for grounding wires too? I just replaced ten light switches, and I didn't pay attention to which way the grounding went.The loops go around the screws clockwise. Yours are counterclockwise.
Since this is the case, is it correct to assume the direction for the grounding doesn't matter?With a clockwise loop it will pull tighter when the screw is tightened. CCW will loosen. Loose connections create heat. Heat creates fire etc.