Title Pages: Your paper should have one that includes at least the following information: paper title, your name, course name, course number, and the date. If you have a title page, there is no need to repeat the title on first page of text. Try to give your paper a relatively interesting title. "Short Paper" or "Term Paper" or "Interest Group Assignment" are dull. You can put your title in a font that is slightly larger than normal text but avoid extremely large fonts. In other words, 12-18 point fonts are fine, but 35 point fonts are too large.
It's v. Its: The first is short for "it is" as in "It's sad to Republicans that a Democrat lives in the White House." The second is a pronoun as in "Florida sufferred a terrible blow when its orange crop froze last January."
Spaces after periods: When typing, you should type two spaces after periods. It just looks better and helps distinguish one sentence from another.
Quotation Marks and Indenting Quotes:
|You should place quotation marks around any direct quotes. If the person you are quoting quotes another source, you should use the double marks for the outer quotation marks and the single marks for the inner quotation marks. Example: The Star Trek Magazine reported: "Mr. Spock stated 'Live Long and Prosper' at the end of the episode."|
|If your quote is lengthy (four or more lines), you should indent the quote and use single-spaced text. You do not need to use quotation marks around indented quotes because it is clear from the context and the format.|
|You should always use ellipses when you remove words from a quotation. You should not use ellipses if your removal of words changes the meaning of the text. If your missing words are in the middle of sentence, you should replace theme with three dots separated by spaces as well as preceeded and followed by spaces (i.e. <space>.<space>.<space>.<space>). The spaces make the ellipses look better when typed. Example: "Many older residents find that retirement communities are more . . . peaceful if children do not live on the property."|
|If you omit the end of sentence before going on to the next sentence in your quotation, you should use four dots instead of three with no space between the first dot and the end of the first sentence and two spaces after the fourth dot (as in the two spaces after a period). The first dot is the period. Example: "The Democrats ran a mean-spirited campaign in 1998. . . . Their radio commercials about church burnings implied that the Republicans are racists."|
Brackets: When you excerpt a quote, you may want to substitute a few words of your own for the actual words for clarification purposes. For example, you might want to replace a pronoun with the actual person or group. You need to put the words that you insert in brackets. Example: [Tom Brokaw] recently wrote a book that lauds the World War II generation. Similarly, if your quote begins in the middle of the sentence, you may capitalize the first letter, but you should put it in brackets. Example: [T]he Iraqi government objected to sanctions.
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The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the American University. If you have any questions about this page, please email David Lublin at email@example.com. This page was last updated on January 9, 1999.