Term Paper Formatting Guidelines For Dummies: 10 Basic Rules

The term paper is a documented paper that is of a reasonable length where the student is supposed to identify, interpret, analyze and draw the conclusion from an opinion and fact about other people. This kind of work requires the student to get information from various sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedia, special subject indexes, reference books, books, scholarly journals and newspapers. After getting this information, you are supposed to place in a logical way to create an idea. There are various guidelines that are acceptable for references and styles. However, there are some general principles that apply. Here are ten of them that apply for students using the MLA format.

  1. Be complete. You should give sufficient information in the reference to enable the reader to get references using standard procedures for searching. If you are referencing books, you should include author, complete title, publisher, date of publication.
  2. Be consistent. You should adopt one style for your paper and use it throughout.
  3. Guide the reader. Avoid causing the reader to go and find the internal references. Incase you use end notes, avoid numberings that are ambiguous such that they leave the reader wondering the chapter for which the notes are attached to.
  4. Do not include a title page unless this has been specifically requested
  5. Include your name, course, instructor’s name and date at the first page’s upper left hand corner of the paper. Be sure to double space everything.
  6. If you have a title ensure that you double space and place it at the center. You shouldn’t underline, italicize or place the title in quotation marks. The title should be written in standard capitalization(title case) rather than in capital letters
  7. When quoting other works in the title, use italics or quotation marks
  8. Be sure to double space between the first line and the title of your text
  9. Ensure that you have a header at the upper right corner where you should include your last name which should by a space that has a page number, number all the pages using Arabic numbers. However, this will depend on the instructions of your instructor and you may be asked to omit some of these details.
  10. To improve the readability of your document, use section headings. These may be on the individual chapters or other parts of the essay or book that are named.