This page is intended to provide students in my class with specific
guidance on how to format papers. It assumes a basic familiarity with word
help regarding the use of MS Word is available from BSC's Information
Services, as are additional
training resources. Help is also available to BSC students by calling
I have two reasons for requesting that students submit papers in a consistent
format. First, it enables me to correct and return papers more efficiently.
Second, some of my formatting requirements are standard practice in academia
If you are in a web-based (80/20) section, see special
file-naming instructions below.
Typing: All papers are to be typed, unless otherwise specified.
I can barely read my own hand-writing, never mind that of 100 different
students each semester.
Name, rank, and serial number: Please indicate your name, the professor's
name (Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan), your course number (including section if
needed), and the date at the top-right of the first page of your paper.
This information should be single-spaced and right-justified. Please do
your student ID (Social Security) number. In my introductory classes, you
should also indicate the assignment number (by textbook chapter).
Name on back: Please hand-write your name and course number (including
section) at the right-top of the page on the back of the last page of your
paper. This allows me to fold all papers in half and return them while
protecting the privacy of grades.
Double spacing: The body of the paper must be double-spaced; otherwise,
it is difficult for me to write suggestions.
Single spacing: Extended quotes (over four lines) should be indented
and single-spaced. Bibliographies and identifying information at the top
of the paper should also be single-spaced.
Title: All papers should have titles, indicated just below the name,
date, and so forth.
Headings: If the paper is more than a few pages long, it should
have headings indicating the major sections. These may be in bold type.
(See my organization page.)
Margins: Margins should be about 1 inch at top, bottom, and sides.
If shrinking the margins slightly saves a page of print, that is
fine. (Incidentally, the Print Preview command in word processors allows
users to see exactly what the paper will look like prior to printing, indicating
such things as stranded single lines on a page.)
Page numbers: If the paper is more than one page long, page numbers
must be indicated, beginning with the second page.
Citations: All outside sources (especially of direct quotes) must
be indicated clearly. Failure to do so may constitute academic dishonesty,
resulting in sanctions ranging from a failing grade for the assignment
to possible removal from the college. Citation format should be consistent.
I prefer parenthetical citations, but footnotes or endnotes are also acceptable.
The citation should clearly indicate authorship and provide the reader
with a clear indication of how to find the source. The
list of cited sources does not need to be on a separate page, if it will
fit on the last page of the work itself.
URLs: URLs are Uniform (or Universal) Resource Locators, otherwise
known as web addresses. If you obtain information from the web, include
the URL, but also include the author, title, date, and sponsoring organization.
For example, this page has the title "Writing: Paper Format" which is visible
in the blue bar at the top of your screen. Some of the information might
be difficult to find; if so, consider using a more mainstream source.
Paper: The paper should be standard size, stapled in the upper-left
corner. Staplers are available in campus offices and some computer labs.
If you write a lot of papers, I recommend buying a small stapler to keep
in your book bag. Cover pages are not required. Plastic covers, binders,
and folders are strongly discouraged. They make handling a stack of papers
much more difficult.
|Special instructions for web-based
(80/20) courses only
Students in these classes turn in their writing assignments via the
Digital Drop Box.When doing so, please adhere to the following to minimize
The Digital Drop Box is not available to day-class students.
Save your paper (formatted as described above) in Word (*.doc) or Rich
Text Format (*.rtf). Microsoft Works does not work :-) If you are using
MS Works, use the "Save as..." command and select rtf.
Be sure the file name is in the format of name-chapxx.doc or name-chapxx.rtf
(where "name" is your last name and "xx" is the two-digit chapter number
- 01, 03, and so on).
In Blackboard, select "Digital Drop Box" in the "Student Tools" area.
Click the "Send file" button. Pretend the "Add file" button does not exist.
It is nothing but trouble!
You will see a screen with three fields. Enter "Chapter x" in the first
field (where "x" is the current chapter).
Click the "Browse" button to select the file you saved in Step 2.
The "Comments" field can be left blank, unless you have something specific
to communicate about this file.
Be sure to click the "Submit" button when you are ready!
Return to my Not-the-13th-Grade page.
Any questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D.
Bridgewater State College
Revised: September 16,