Core Studies 1
Standards for Written Assignments
Professor Donna Wilson
- The paper should have a title, which should be centered at
the top of the first page. Be sure to put your name on your
- Each page should be numbered; include a word count at the
- Your paper must be typed or computer processed (handwritten
papers will not be accepted); use only 10 or 12 point fonts for
the text of the paper, which should be double-spaced; maintain
margins of one inch on all sides.
- Staple your paper together.
For research papers and papers based on written primary
sources: avoid lengthy quotations, since these generally fill up
space without advancing your argument. Stick to paraphrasing the text
or referring your reader to appropriate places in the text by citing
the reference only; when it is necessary to quote, use just a few,
SPELLING AND GRAMMAR
I care about spelling and grammar, and I will take them into
account when I assign a grade to your paper. When your paper is done,
run the spellchecker option on your computer but don't rely on it.
Proofread your paper, or trade it with a friend.
FOUR CRITERIA OF GOOD WRITING
I look for four major qualities in a good piece of writing:
clarity, command of the facts, logic, and elegance. When you are
putting your argument together, ask yourself the following
- Clarity: What is the main
thesis, or point, of the paper? Are the thesis and the evidence
used to prove it laid out in an understandable and easy-to-read
- Command of the facts: Do I
have the facts right?
- Logic: Do my conclusions
follow from the facts I've laid out?
- Elegance: Is the paper
ponderous, pretentious, mechanical, or too informal in its tone?
Do I repeat specific vocabulary frequently when a synonym would
give the text more polish? Have I used passive verbs that could be
changed to active ones?
FOR FURTHER HELP with organizing your paper, see these
tips for writing an academic paper.