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Guide to Course Papers

Guide to Course Papers


  1. Type the paper, double-spaced, standard white paper, one side only.
  2. Indent paragraphs five letter-spaces.
  3. Make margins one and one-half inches on left, one inch on right.
  4. Number pages in upper right corner using Arabic numerals.
  5. Proofread the paper carefully, correct all spelling errors.


All sources consulted in the preparation of the paper should be listed on a separate bibliography page at the end of the paper. The entries in the bibliography should be arranged alphabetically. Entries may be classified according to the material used.

Examples of types of entries:

  • Boorstin, Daniel, J. The Americans: The Colonial Experience. New York: Vintage Books, 1958.
  • Bowsky, William (ed.). Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History. 4 vols. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1963-67.
  • Harlan, F.C. (ed.). Readings in Economics and Politics. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.
  • Mitchell, Franklin D. and Richard O. Davies (eds.). America’s Recent Past. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1969.
  • New York Times, December 7, 1963 – February 8, 1964.
  • Scott, Douglass. “The Negro and the Enlisted Man: An Analogy,” Harper’s Magazine, CCXXV (Oct. 1962), 19-21.
  • U.S., Congressional Record, 89th Congress, 2nd Session (1966), CXII, No. 85, 12161-12214.
  • U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Federal Constitution Contract Act, Hearing before Subcommittee, 82nd Congress, 2nd Session, April 29-June 3, 1952. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1952.
  • Wilson, George Mackin, “Time and History in Japan,” American Historical Review, 85 (June, 1980), 557-71.


Footnotes are used mainly to identify authorities or acknowledge indebtedness. All direct quotations, indirect quotations (paraphrases that amount to quotation), references to ideas, opinions or conclusions, or statements of fact that are not common knowledge must be identified by means of footnotes at the bottom of each page, or by endnotes at the end of the paper preceding the bibliography.

Examples of types of footnotes:

  • Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Colonial Experience (New York, 1958), 51. (First citation.)
  • Boorstin, The Americans, p. 52. (Use short title rather than op.cit. for subsequent citations.)
  • Ibid., p. 53. (For consecutive citations of the book, but not if citation of another work intervenes.
  • Douglass Scott, “The Negro and the Enlisted Man: an Analogy, ” Harper’s Magazine, CCXXV (Oct. 1962), 19.
  • T.W. Mason, “Some Origins of the Second World War,” in Esmonde M. Robertson (ed.), The Origins of the Second World War (New York, 1971), 107-108.
  • Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History (10 vols., London, 1934-54), I, 318-21.
  • H.C. Harlan (ed.), Readings in Economics and Politics (2nd ed., New York, 1966), 66.
  • New York Times, June 26, 1964, p. 14.


Excessive quotations should be avoided, and direct quotations should be used only when they express something in the best possible way. All direct (verbatim) quotations should be scrupulously accurate. Brief quotations should be included in the text with quotation marks. Quotations of three or more lines should be single-spaced, without quotation marks, and indented on the left or right. An omission from a quotation is shown by three spaced periods; or if the end of a sentence is omitted, there will be four periods. Omissions should not alter or misrepresent the meaning of the original. When another person’s ideas but not exact words are used, full credit must be given as in the case of direct quotation.


As defined in The American College Dictionary, plagiarism (literary dishonesty) is “copying or imitating the language, ideas, and thoughts of another author and passing off the same as one’s original work.” Plagiarism may result in any or all of the following actions (1) grade of “F” for the course paper (2) grade of “F” for the course (3) suspension or expulsion from the University.