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Well-Established Formatting Requirements

  1. Find some samples on the Internet pertaining to your specific citation style (Purdue Owl is a good resource to find formatting requirements relating to popularly used citation styles).
  2. Most of the citation styles have similar features. For example:
  • Times New Roma, 12 pt. is a widely used font.
  • 1-inch margins (from all sides) are preferable.
  • The text should be double-spaced on all pages. First lines of paragraphs should be indented 0.5 inch. The text should be left-justified.
  • Direct quotes should be taken in quotation marks. Block quotes should be indented 1 inch from the left margin.
  • Always rely on the spell check in your processing program. However, some technical words may be underlined. Therefore, it is recommendable to add these terms to MS Word dictionary.
  • If you use any visuals (tables, charts, diagrams), they should be placed within original margins. If you cannot successfully manage your pictures within the text and they are rather extensive to be placed along with the text, you can shift them to Appendices.
  • If your research supervisor assigned you a detailed formatting guideline that differs much from the commonly accepted formatting rules, you should consult with him/her, if you have any questions.
  • Divide your text into headings and subheadings.
  • Do not introduce extra spacing between lines of the text. Every page should have the same spacing between paragraphs.

Rely on MS Word functions and avoid the following:

  • Do not manually put dots by creating a Table of Contents. You are supposed to create it with the help of heading styles.
  • Your page numbers should be consistent with the citation style. Manage your running heads appropriately.
  • Do not attempt to format your paper, if you are barely acquainted with the citation style. Rely on the assigned tutorials or find some guidelines on the web.

Check your professor’s instructions to know for sure what file extension should be chosen for submission (.doc, PDF, etc.). You can also find this information on the university website.


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