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How to Write a Paper and Make your Teacher Happy

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Presentation on theme: "How to Write a Paper and Make your Teacher Happy"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Write a Paper and Make your Teacher Happy

2 APPEARANCE One inch margins all around the paper
HEADING: single spaced, include name, teacher’s surname, class, and date EX: Ima Good Student Abernathy British Literature, 1 20 Sept. 2013

3 APPEARANCE On the first page, create the heading and place it on the left side, 1 inch from the top. On subsequent pages, number the pages with your surname and the page number (in upper right corner). Ex: Goodfellow, 3 Skip one space between the date and the title. Center the title. Do not bold, underline, or italicize your own title. Do not use your assignment as your title. Do not use the title of the work you are analyzing as your title. Skip one space between the title and the body.

4 APPEARANCE Use 10 or 12 point font; use a standard font (I prefer Arial but will accept comparable fonts) IF you quote someone or use her ideas, you must give credit for those ideas. Therefore, you must create a Works Cited page. The Works Cited page must be a separate page. Do not tack it on to the bottom of your paper.

5 APPEARANCE The first word of a paragraph should be indented five spaces. DO NOT skip extra spaces between paragraphs. If you try to make your paper look longer than it is by using larger fonts, bigger margins, long quotes, etc., remember that these practices are blatantly obvious and insult the intelligence of your reader. Honesty is always preferable to subterfuge.

6 FIRST PARAGRAPH The first paragraph must include the title of the work, the author, and the thesis. The thesis should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Obviously, the first paragraph should contain more information. This is, after all, an introductory paragraph and the reader should be introduced to ideas and/or concepts. A good introduction will prepare the reader for the coming thesis and argument.

7 STYLE Use standard, formal English. That means no: contractions slang
colloquialisms chunks of other languages

8 TONE Be modest but confident.
If you feel that you lack the competency to write on a subject, I certainly don’t want to waste my time reading that paper. But don’t be arrogant, either. Adopt the attitude of one who has read, researched, and thought carefully about the work and has something of interest and importance to communicate.

9 THE AUTHOR The first time you reference an author’s name, you must use it in its entirety. After that, use only the author’s last name. Ex: Geoffrey Chaucer, Chaucer; Virginia Woolf, Woolf Do not use honorifics such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Miss, or Dr. The only exception is Sir for a knighted author. Then use the title ‘Sir’ and the author’s entire name or only his last name without the ‘Sir.’ Ex: Sir Thomas Malory, Malory

10 PRESENT TENSE A literary work is considered a living thing.
Therefore, one always uses the present tense when speaking or writing about literature. Remember: History = Past Tense Literature = Present Tense

11 DO NOT Do not include extensive plot summary. No one would read an analysis of a work with which they were unfamiliar. Plot summary is a waste of my time and your paper. Do not include extensive biographical material about your author. The essay is an analysis of a work, not its creator.

12 PARAGRAPHS The body paragraphs of a paper should be of approximate size. Paragraphs that are too brief indicate undeveloped ideas. Paragraphs that are too long indicate an inability to distinguish important from unimportant points OR That the writer simply doesn’t know how to construct a paragraph.

13 QUOTES Quoting: Quotes should never stand alone.
Quotes should be incorporated into your own sentences and the sentence should make sense. Do not end a paragraph with a quote. Use your own words to conclude both paragraph and paper. Do not quote extensively; padded papers are obvious and insulting to your reader’s intelligence. Punctuate quotes correctly. Ex: Most of us have pondered whether “[t]o be or not to be.” (53)

14 TRANSITION Ideally, each sentence of a paper should lead smoothly into the next just as The last sentence of a paragraph suggests the paragraph to come and The final sentence of the paper brings the entire paper to a neat and logical conclusion.

(because you should already know this)

IT is a pronoun and must have a recognizable antecedent. Do not begin a sentence with “it” unless the antecedent is the last word of the preceding sentence. The same rule applies to “this,” “that,” and “there” He/their; one/their; she/their = XXXXXX Singular pronouns must be paired with singular pronouns (or nouns) he/his; one/one’s; she/hers Everyone is a singular noun (everyone/his) Everybody is a plural noun (everybody/their) People are ‘who’ not ‘that’. Ex: I met the writer that wrote that book. NO! I met the writer who wrote that book.

17 BAD WRITER, BAD Prepositional phrases
Be careful not to string prepositional phrases. They quickly adopt a sing-song rhythm and put your reader to sleep. EX: In the book written by Long, the reader learns that medieval life, with all its problems, was not for the weak in health or spirit. Corrected: Long’s book proves that medieval life was not for those weak of heart or spirit.

18 SIT, STAY, WATCH ME Infinitive: a verb + to = Split infinitive :
to dance, to sing, to weep, to check Split infinitive : “to boldly go” to go boldly to periodically check to check periodically Beginning/ending sentences with prepositions/linking verbs Supposition suppose if Consistency

19 PROBLEMS Circular logic Defining a word with itself Contradicting self
Do not pepper your paper with questions. Your job as an analyst is to answer questions, not pose them.

20 CIRCULAR WRITING “The Franks were a Germanic tribe living in the region we know as France around the third century. France received its name from the Franks, which is why the name is derived from the word ‘frank.’”

21 LINEAR WRITING France derived its name from the Franks, a third century Germanic tribe that inhabited the region.

22 Bad Habits Writers Must Break
An example is taken The word holds a meaning The author displays his thoughts Being that (what’s wrong with ‘is’?) Fatty phrases: on the other hand, a lot, I have been led to believe, in some ways, the characters are alike but different Beginning a sentence with a gerund Plagiarism

23 Go forth, write, and sin no more.

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