Rauch Style Guide

A General Style Guide for Papers

Alan Rauch


1.) All papers must be typed, double-spaced, and have adequate margins on all sides. If you have any questions about variations in style, please ask them in class!

2.) Every paper must include a title, page numbers, your name, and the class section. The title page is not numbered! Numbering begins on the first page of the text.

3.) Do NOT use erasable paper. If you need to correct something at the last minute, use white-out and a pen. Make certain that the print from your printer is legible.

4.) Do NOT put your papers in folders. Simply put a title page on your paper and STAPLE the whole thing together. If you don't have a stapler, now's the time to get one.

5.) If you don't have a dictionary, get one. You will find that spelling and usage count for a lot in the real world. Pay attention to punctuation, apostrophes (contractions and possessives), and sentence readability.

6.) Don't be too literal-minded. I do not count the number of words on a page or even the number of pages (unless you hand in an absurdly short assignment for a lengthy task). Your purpose in this course is to communicate effectively and not to be a slave to assignment specifications.

7.) If you have any illustrations that you would like to include in your papers, paste them in, either with rubber cement or using a computer paste function. If you are pasting items in, use rubber cement, not scotch tape. Always place a caption and a Figure # (e.g. 1) below the illustration. Never put an illustration in a text unless it has already been referred to in the text.

8.) I will only accept a late paper if you provide an excuse in a typewritten MEMO that notifies me that the paper will be late. It should outline what progress you have made on it, and when you expect to hand it in. Do not miss a class because your paper isn't done, or because you have to fiddle around with a printer problem; I make allowances for technological problems.

9.) Make every effort to get class handouts from a friend. If you have to miss a class, ask a friend to get an extra copy of whatever was handed out that day. Notify me by phone or by e-mail that you'll be missing the class. Never ask any Professor: "Did I miss anything important in class?"

10.) Pick up all of your exams, papers, and quizzes!

11.) Use a consistent mode of citation. The Bedford Handbook provides information about citing sources (including web pages) in the MLA style.

12.) .) The Web is a great source for information, but it should only be a starting point. Real research requires the kind of references and primary sources that are available in the library where you will find scholarly articles and books. (You can often find full-text articles in databases provided by NCLive.) Don't hesitate to ask me or other faculty for sources.

If a question is important enough for you to ask after class or during office hours, please ask it during class!

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