LBS 333                    Topics in the History of Genetics and Molecular Biology               Fall 2000

Required Format for Essays*

1.  Use standard sized white paper.

2.  Margins:  about one-and-a-half inches at top and left; one inch at bottom and right.

3.  Number your pages, but don't number page 1.  Pages are numbered in the upper right hand corner of the page and the number appears without the word "page" or "pg" before it and without punctuation or decoration.  You can also follow the format used in the RHH sample research essay (pp. 217-232) in which your last name is placed before the pagination.

4.  All essays have titles.  In short essays, use the format shown on page 147 of the RHH.  Center the title on the first page at the top.  Capitalize the first word of the title as well as all content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs).  End stop punctuation is not used unless the title is a question or an exclamation.  Don't decorate the title with quotation marks, underlining, asterisks, etc.  Skip three lines and begin the text.

5.  Paragraphs are indented five spaces with writing beginning on the sixth space.

6.  Double space the text, but single space block quotations (see RHH,. pp. 554-555).

7.  When typing or printing, be certain the ribbon is dark and that the standard conventions of typing are followed, i.e., appropriate spacing after punctuation marks, etc.  Use standard type fonts (do not use italicized fonts).  Make sure you review and understand the standard punctuation and conventions explained in Parts VIII and IX of the RHH.

8.  Correcting errors: neatly and thoroughly erase the mistake and type the correct letter(s).  Strike-overs (typing one letter over another letter without either erasing or using "eraser tape" first) are not permitted.

9.  Place all completed pages in their proper order and use a paper clip to hold them together (DON'T STAPLE!).  Remove the perforated edging on computer printouts.  Be sure to make and keep a photocopy or extra "hard" copy of each essay in case your instructor "misplaces" your essay or your disk is accidentally erased.

10.  If you have a file folder or pocket folder, place completed essay and your rough drafts and notes in it and hand in.

Note: Most of these format requirements are merely conventions that will vary from instructor to instructor.  There are no ironclad rules for formatting.  Each magazine, journal, newspaper, or other publication will have its own rules.  These are the formatting procedures for LBS 333, Spring Semester at MSU.

*This is the format handout I use in my LBS 133 courses.  See me if you want to look at the RHH (Random House Handbook).  I won't require Course Folders (pocket folders); however, I do require that rough drafts and/or notes are handed in with the final draft so that I can see the writing process employed.