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  • The required format is double-space Times New Roman 12-point (TNR-12pt) with 1-inch margins.
  • You can write it in whatever font and size pleases you, and convert to double-space TNR-12 pt in Word .doc when done.
  • A double-space TNR-12pt. page is about 250 words, so a 7-10 page paper is 1,750-2,500 words.
  • Include page numbers.
  • 7 pages is the minimum, but you are not limited to 10.
  • Nevertheless, avoid filler and repetitions. Quality and clarity matter more than length. (I will reward a great paper that is 1,699 words. I won’t even know.)
  • Pro-tip: Tricks with letter spacing or format to make the text look longer will be seen & disliked. They create suspicion.
  • Provide a creative title that tells us what the paper is about, that sends an intriguing message, or that starts your story.
  • Choosing or changing a title as your paper evolves can be a good way to inspire yourself, focus your thoughts, and get through obstacles.
  • Section titles are acceptable and can perform the same functions of inspiration & organization.
  • No cover page.
  • A long header is unnecessary. Put your name, the date, and a title at the top of the first page, skip a line, then start. (That’s all it needs, but you can add the course title and instructor name if it kills you not to include these.)
  • In your paper, provide citations for everything that you are learning, paraphrasing, or quoting from other sources, in footnotes or in-text references.
  • Choose and learn one citation system (Chicago, APA, MLA, etc.) and apply it consistently throughout.
  • Truth is, all I really care about is Author-Title-Publication-Year-Page numbers, and the specific pages of cited material. (Other instructors may not agree.)
  • Don’t turn your Works Cited or footnotes into link farms. Remember this is a printed paper, so I can’t click on it. You may have reason to name websites, because they are publishers, but full links should only be for (usually recent) material that lives online only.
  • Plagiarism will be caught and punished, so don’t do it.
  • All quotations should make up no more than about 15-20 percent of the total paper length, preferably less.
  • The above is a rule of thumb. There are exceptions. For example, you may be using several quoted primary-source statements that you compare, analyze, and contextualize. That would be an allowable exception.
  • Quotations longer than four lines should be indented, block text, and single-spaced.
  • For secondary sources, paraphrase is better than quotation. Save quotations for the most catchy or famous phrases and statements.