what the dog saw
Joshua A. Crosby
How to Format a Paper
This is a guide to formatting your paper for my class. Above you will see what the header should look like. Your name and class with section number, single spaced, is all you need. Make sure you use your section number. Do not add extra spaces. The text of this paper is double spaced, as yours should be. As I indicate in the syllabus you should use Times New Roman, 12 point type. Please don’t use other fonts. The title should tell me what the paper is (“Reading Critique: Death Without Weeping”, “Reading Critique: Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, ect.).
This example is formatted just like your paper should be. In that way, it is both explaining and modeling what should be done. You will notice paragraphs are indented. You will also note extra returns are not used between paragraphs; i.e. adding an extra line. You should follow that format for paragraphs. You should also avoid paragraphs under 3 – 4 sentences. Expand ideas if you need to.
A few other comments are needed. Please use a professional tone in a college paper. This is not a text to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Thing such as “lol”, “or like…WHATEVER”, do not belong. Nor does a highly personal commentary not related to an analysis of the work. Starting your paper with “I didn’t like this article” is a bad idea. In part you should avoid this because it’s poor writing, but also because it doesn’t matter. The world is not organized around your amusement. Academic articles aren’t designed to entertain you. They are there to inform you. Smart and successful people are not limited by what they find amusing.
Please refer to your syllabus for the length. If the instructions are for a page, and you write half a page, you will get half a grade. If the instructions call for 2 pages, do not write a page and a half. Longer is never a problem. Shorter is. Also, as a college paper, you should offer a critical engagement with the ideas of the author. You are not simply restating what they said, nor are you offering an opinion. You are addressing the strength of their ideas, arguments, and evidence. You are analyzing the proposition of the author. If you disagree with the author you must use facts to explain why. What is the author arguing for or against? How did they construct their argument? Did they support their argument? What kind of evidence do they use? Are their holes in their logic or reasoning? Is the language biased? These are just some of the questions that a quality critique could analyze.
You need to prove read. (Did you catch the error in that last sentence? Neither would spell check.) Students rely on spell check, witch wont ketch wards spilled rite, butt knot yews wright. If you are not a great writer, have someone else read it for you. There is a writing lab here on campus. Please use it if you need to. Lastly, and this is big, if you have more than 1 page, and you really should, the pages must be stapled together. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a decreased grade.