Essay Paper Format and Indentation

Appearance does make a difference!

Most instructors expect homework and other papers to follow the same form. When you turn in a paper, use the following checklist for all assignments. Be sure the follow your instructor's directions for additional requirements.

Also See

Basic Composition
Essay Template Outline
Essay Parts Outline
• Use 8.5 x 11 white, lined notebook paper if your paper is handwritten. The three holes should go on the LEFT side, and the large blank space without lines must be on the top.

• Write your name, course number, date, and page numbers of an assignment in the upper right-hand corner.

• Write the title of the assignment in the center of the line at the top. Skip a line after the title (skip two lines if typing).

• Leave a one-inch margin on both sides of the page and at the bottom. If you plan to put your paper in a report folder, leave a 1.5 inch margin on the left of all pages to allow for a 3-hole punch.

• Indent the first line of every paragraph (about one inch). If typing or using a computer, use the TAB key to indent.

• Write on every other line of the paper (or double space, if typing).

• Capitalize the first word in each sentence and end each sentence with the correct punctuation. Never begin a new line with punctuation.

• If your paper has more than one page, number them and neatly staple them together.

• Be sure to check with each of your instructors about the specific guidelines for papers in their class.
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