The Finished Paper
The Sensible Mechanics of Writing
Correctness in one's manuscript, whether one page or one hundred pages, reflects the writer's attitude, namely, that the writer takes the assignment seriously, that he or she does not want even one discordant tone to interfere with the message. Allow time, then, in the writing process to tend to the mechanics of writing. Should you in spite of your diligence note an error on the date work is due, however, by all means pen in the correction.
|GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR PAPERS NOT REQUIRING RESEARCH|
PLEASE submit papers either clipped or stapled BEFORE class meets (no folders, please), and please remember to retain copies of your essays).
DOUBLE-SPACE all copy. Avoid putting any extra line between paragraphs as you would were you to single-space your work. Indent each paragraph five to eight spaces. Allow 1" margins on all but the first page of your text; on this page, you may allow a one and one-half-inch margin from the top edge of the paper to your title if you wish. (PLEASE DO NOT underscore or italicize your title unless you borrowed it from someone else, and DO NOT justify the right margins.) You should also know that you cannot divide monosyllables and that you must follow all end marks (periods, question marks, etc.) with two spaces.
Because papers not requiring research are short, page numbers are unnecessary. If you are preparing a research paper using MLA guidelines, do follow correct formatting procedures, and, for privacy's sake, attach a cover page according to my guidelines. (In this way, no one in the class can view my maks when I return graded papers.)
In using MLA style of documentation, do allow one space to separate the quotation marks from the parenthetical information. A correct example follows: Smith argued that the news editors have overstepped their editorial power (54). Notice that a period, comma, or semicolon always follows the parenthetical information. In no case should you use more than one mark: He lost his editorial power. (54). Finally, note that ellipses require spaces before and after each of the three periods. In other words, do space dot space dot space dot space ( . . . ) instead of dotdotdot (...).
Unless otherwise instructed, the cover (title) page should include the title, centered in the middle of the page, with additional information in the lower right-hand corner typed in the following order: your professor's name, your course prefix and number, your name, and the date. An example follows:
John A. Miller
April 12, 2006
Professor Joyce M. Miller Return to Home Page Return to Instructional Menu