Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Format Guidelines for Composition Papers

Format Guidelines for Composition Papers

Use the following guidelines for all written work you submit, unless your instructor requests a different format:

  • All papers must be word-processed or typed and double-spaced; they should have one-inch margins all around and standard typefaces or computer fonts (not italic fonts or unusually large characters). Photocopies are not acceptable.
  • Include your name, your instructor's name, the course and section number, the date and paper title on a separate title page or on the first page.
  • Your title should be neither underlined nor placed within quotation marks. Capitalize the first and last words in your title, and every other word, except: articles ("a" and "the"), conjunctions and prepositions of fewer than five letters.
  • Each page after the first should include your last name and a page number.
  • Fasten your paper with a paper clip or a staple before turning it in (some instructors require staples).
  • Proofread all work slowly and carefully at least several hours after completing it. Papers that have not been proofread or edited signal the author's lack of respect for his or her own work. Reading papers aloud helps a great deal to alleviate errors, as does reading them backwards, last word to first, or last sentence to first. You may use software programs to check spelling and grammar, unless your instructor advises you not to. Please remember that such programs are no substitute for your own careful proofreading.
  • Before turning in a paper, make a photocopy or print out a second copy as back-up; do not consider a copy stored on a computer to be an adequate substitute for copying your finished paper or printing out two copies of it.
  • Do not turn in papers via e-mail unless your instructor has given you explicit permission to do so.
  • It is your responsibility to keep the marked original copies of all graded papers.