Formatting Your Paper

Title page: Your paper should have a title page, on which appears the title of the paper, your name, my name, the course number, and the date.

Bibliography: Your paper should end with a bibliography, which is started on a new page, and labeled "Bibliography" at top. (The first page of the bibliography generally is left un-numbered.) Bibliographic citations should conform to the style outlined in the handout entitled "Working with Sources" and in Turabian. The bibliography includes all works consulted, not merely those works cited in your paper. Entries in a bibliography are begun with a "back tab."

Line spacing: The text of your paper should be double-spaced. You will not be using "block" quotations, so you need not worry about how to space these (they are double-spaced as well). The footnotes or endnotes should be single-spaced. Often, footnotes are prepared in ten-point type.

Margins: Use one-inch margins for the sides, top, and bottom of your paper.

Typeface: For the typeface, use a simple font, like TimesRoman, or Courier. Use a twelve-point font size. Clarity and ease of reading are the goals; avoid fancy but difficult-to-read fonts.

A note on page length: If you lack room, simply allow the paper to exceed the length requirements rather than expanding margins, reducing typefaces, etc. On the other hand, if the paper is too short, avoid tricks like increasing the point size of the typeface, or increasing the margins.

Page numbers: Each page should be numbered. On the first page, the page number goes on the bottom-center of the page. On subsequent pages, page numbers are placed on the upper-right corner of the page. For the first page of the bibliography and the first page of the endnote page, the page number is placed on the bottom center of the page, or omitted.

Extra formats: Some word processing programs permit special formatting options. Widow/orphan protection, block protection, and other options can be great aids. Take advantage of such capabilities according to your judgement, but keep in mind the overall objective of presenting your work clearly and simply. A small header or footer with your name in it is a good idea.

Computerized spelling and grammar checkers: These are wonderful advances in computer technology, but do not rely on them too much. Especially when using your spell checker, beware of homonyms. You are expected to edit and correct your paper yourself.