Please follow these guidelines when writing your papers.

Deadlines Submit your papers because of the deadlines stated in the syllabus. You have three grace days for several papers except the final paper, which is why there are not any free extensions. If you have a problem ahead of the final paper, be sure to keep in touch with me each day prior to the deadline.

Basic Elements

  • Mechanics are essential. These are the basic tools that result in the paper possible.
  • a) Descriptive Title. As easy as this might be, some people forget.
  • b) Introductory Paragraph or Thesis. A thesis paragraph states what you’re setting out to show in your paper and exactly how you shall do this. An paragraph that is introductory your reader with a definite knowledge of what the paper is all about. Generally speaking it is a good idea to avoid the overuse for the first person voice, since this can interrupt the flow of your prose. Here are a few examples to think about:

Effective introductory paragraph that will not use “I”: In Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris writes about her life regarding the Western plains of the United States. She describes it as some sort of monastic world by which she has had the opportunity in the future in contact with her spiritual roots through the lives of those there, the land, plus the solitude of her very own life that is inner. She does not falsely idealize life on the plains as some sort of paradise out of the urban jungle. In reality, she is critical of this insularity and pettiness of the towns that are small which she lives and works. Instead of detracting through the sense that is positive of life there, however, her critical perspectives make her work more real and lead your reader to would like to get to learn her as well as the plains better. Effective introductory paragraph that uses “I”: In reading Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, I became struck because of the beauty of Kathleen Norris’ prose and her capacity to convey the subtleties and complexities of her life there, of men and women, place, and time, the relation between work, art, in addition to life that is spiritual. At first, I read her work as the account of a lady and a culture vastly distinct from my own. When I continued to read, however, I became aware that, in a few ways, her world mirrored mine. While speaking away from a definite geographical and landscape that is cultural Norris can make us recognize popular features of our personal lives of which we possibly may n’t have been previously aware. Weak introductory paragraph that uses “I”: In this paper, I will talk about Kathleen Norris’s book Dakota-A Spiritual Geography. I am going to discuss her views on the relation between the Dakotas as a geographical location and a spiritual place. I will show that there’s a match up between the two. I shall use ideas from her act as well as Carol Christ’s ideas about nature. I shall also show that, while useful in several ways, Christ’s ideas are insufficient for understanding Norris’ complete view of life within the Dakotas.

  • c) Conclusion. The conclusion brings the basic ideas of one’s paper back into succinct focus. This might involve some summarizing but should also refocus ideas by reformulating a number of your ideas that are thesis/introductory a way not possible with out see the body of the paper. May very well not answer all questions that you raised or resolve all issues outlined in your introduction. One good way to conclude your paper is to raise further questions, showing your understanding of their existence and possibilities for further inquiry. Sometimes, the greatest questions give even rise to more questions.
  • d) Documentation. If you make generalizations or assertions, document your claims with references, either from the readings or the lectures. Then i will not know where your ideas came from if you make a statement that seems controversial and you don’t cite a reference. You simply can’t be too careful with this point.
  • e) Format for References. When it comes to final paper, my goal is to ask that you all use footnotes or endnotes following the format given into the syllabus plus the writing sample. Please note the usage commas and parentheses. For shorter papers, you might use notes that are parenthetical. (You should follow among the formats that are standard parenthetical use.)
  • f) Page numbers. Just in case all pages and posts come loose, I will be able to read your paper.
  • g) Use block quotations for citations four lines or longer. When block that is using, do not use quotation marks in the beginning and end regarding the block. Make use of the margin command rather than the tab command to create block quotations. This will make it much simpler for you.
  • h) Subheadings. These are not essential, you might think it is beneficial to insert subheadings as you go along. You can be helped by them to prepare your paper as well as to let the reader understand that new topics are being addressed.
  • a) Look at your spelling. There must be few errors in this regard.
  • b) Run-on and sentences that are incomplete. Avoid sentences that are too long. Check to ensure that you don’t have sentences that are incomplete.
  • c) Punctuation. Punctuation should follow standard guidelines. There is often confusion about commas. There are many rules that are simple could keep you out of trouble. I have summarized them here. Otherwise, consult a writing manual or ask the instructor. “The Elementary Rules of Usage” from William Strunk’s the weather of Style covers many cases of comma usage including those who connect with independent and dependent clauses.
  • d) Tenses. Be consistent in your utilization of past and tense that is present. If you are writing a thought paper (ideas, philosophy), it really is accepted practice to put everything in our tense. For instance, you might write, “The Buddha says, . . . .” or “The Tibetan master Milarepa behaves in unconventional ways.” If you should be writing an investigation paper dealing with historical issues, you ought to put scholarly assertions in today’s tense (“I think,” “Gregory Schopen states”) and historical facts in the past (“Shakyamuni delivered a sermon,” “Devadatta turned traitor”). In every case, be consistent.

There are some stylistic matters to note.

  • a) Use natural English. You don’t have to fill technical vocabulary to your paper or difficult terms. If you do utilize them, they will have a greater effect when you write for the most part in clear, straightforward English.
  • b) stay away from too many conjunctions and qualifiers, such as for example “however,” “then,” and “given that.” Usually, your reader will discover how one sentence relates to the following minus the usage of these terms, plus the resulting paper will be more straightforward to read. Make use of your own judgement that is good to when they’re necessary. As a rule of thumb, use sparingly.
  • c) Gendered pronouns. It is now widely considered that the use that is exclusive of pronouns to refer to both sexes is unacceptable. You will find a true number of strategies which you can use to negotiate this matter. You might use i) male and female pronouns alternately, ii) neutral pronouns such as for instance “one” and “they”; however, avoid mixing both of these pronouns when you look at the same sentence, iii) both (When a person finds him or herself in this situation . . .), or iv) “s/he”. You can find, however, possible exceptions. When you yourself have any questions regarding this, please see me.

Avoid using “one” and “they” as pronouns for the same referent (This confusion arises due to the usage of “they” instead of “his” or “her.”) Be careful if you use humans or human beings to replace “men.” “Human beings” can be more appropriate than “humans,” and quite often “people” is a significantly better choice.

Common Errors



  • a) ” Different from.” “Different from” may be the usage that is correct not “different than.”
  • b) “Complementary” versus “Complimentary.” Be sure to understand the distinction between these two words. Yin and yang are complementary. Words of praise are complimentary.
  • c) “Affect” versus “effect.” One can measure the economic ramifications of having inventory that is too much but one cannot easily affect nationwide economic trends that may decrease consumer demand.
  • D) A “novel” is a ongoing work of fiction. Memoirs, journals, biographies, and autobiographies are nonfiction works. Do not relate to them as “novels.”
  • Previous PostNext Post