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Section 2: The Basics

How Should Your Paper Look?

Sample Paper
  • All papers need a title. Include the title centered at the top of the first page, right below the header.
  • Type or print on one side of standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
  • Double-space ALL lines of the paper, including the heading and the title.
  • Use either a ten or twelve point font size.
  • Do not include a title page unless specifically requested by the instructor.
  • Use a heading located on the left side of your first page.
  • Use a header that includes your last name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner.
  • The right-hand margin should not be justified.
  • Set ALL margins to 1 inch.
  • Indent the first word of each paragraph one-half inch.

Paragraph Length

  • A paragraph should have at least two sentences.
  • When a paragraph exceeds five or six sentences, think about subdividing it.
  • Paragraphs in the body of the paper should be approximately the same length.

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