English 180: Solberg
Formatting Guidelines for Final Drafts of Essays
You will follow Modern Language Association (MLA) manuscript format for all essays unless
otherwise noted. For more information, see the Bedford Handbook.
1. All essays must be typed.
2. Use an 11-12 point standard font such as Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, Times, or Courier.
3. Margins: Use 1-inch margins on all four edges of text. Use a half-inch margin for headers.
4. Left-align your text.
5. Double-space your essay, including your headers.
6. Do NOT leave an extra line of blank space between paragraphs. MSWord often
automatically puts in extra space, so you may need to change this formatting manually
and/or reset your default settings by using the Paragraph Formatting Menu. ASK if you
can’t figure it out.
7. The first line of all paragraphs should be indented one-half-inch.
8. Paper-clip or staple the pages of your final draft together.
9. I PREFER but do not require, that all drafts, including the final draft, be double-sided.
1. First-page identification info: Do not use a title page or cover sheet. Instead, the top of
your first page should include a left-aligned, double-spaced header with
the course name/number
my name (Professor Erika Solberg)
the assignment name
audience (such as The Monmouth Courier, etc.), IF REQUIRED for that assignment.
2. Title: See webpage on titles for ideas on how to title your essay. Look in the index of the
Bedford Handbook under Titles for guidance on capitalization, quotation marks, etc. Your
title should be
centered on the page between the identification info and the start of your essay.
written in regular type following standard capitalization rules.
NOT be put in bold, italicized, underlined, or larger type or placed in quotation marks.
3. Page numbers: All pages of your essay, including the first page and the Works Cited
page, should have a header with your name and page number in the upper right-hand
corner of the page.
4. Honesty Statement: After the end of the text of your essay, leave two lines of blank space
and type out this statement in regular font: The writing in this essay is my own work. If
I’ve used outside sources, I’ve acknowledged them through correct documentation.
Then attest to the statement's truth by signing your name in ink.
(next page has examples)
Professor Erika Solberg
Book Review Essay
September 20, 2006
The Greatest Book Ever: My Dog Briscoe
The beginning of the essay should start here. Your first paragraph continues on and on and
on and on and on on and on and on on and on doo dah, doo dah and on and on on and on and
on and on on go Red Sox on on and on and on and on on and on and Briscoe and Louie on and
on and on on and on and on on and on until you finish it.
Pages after the first
and now you continue on with your essay on this page …….
… this is the last line of your essay here.
The writing in this essay is my own work. If I’ve used outside sources, I’ve acknowledged them
through correct documentation.
WORKS CITED PAGE:
Any essay that uses an outside source, such as a literary text, needs a works cited page.
1. This page is part of your essay, not a separate document, and so it should include a page
number in the upper-right-hand corner, should use the same font type and size as the rest of
your essay, and should be paper-clipped or stapled together with your other pages.
2. However, you will start the Works Cited page as a new page after the end of the text of your
essay and your honesty statement.
3. The page should have the title of Works Cited. Put this title centered at the top of the page.
The title should be written in regular type following standard capitalization rules. Do not put
your title in bold, italicized, underlined, or larger type or place it in quotation marks.
1. See the Bedford Handbook for clear examples and for additional crucial details on how to
construct this page – do not just guess! The basics include:
Items should be listed in alphabetical order.
You should double-space text but NOT put extra space between entries, just like in
Each entry should use a hanging indentation, where the first line is NOT indented but
the second, third, etc. lines ARE indented (1/2 inch). MSWord has a feature under
Paragraph Formatting where you can set up hanging indentations. ASK if you
cannot figure it out.
2. PORTFOLIO FORMAT: Essays will be submitted as portfolios with all materials in a two-
pocket folder. See individual essay assignment sheet for more information. Be sure to label
all portfolio items that do not already have a header on them (for instance, you do not need
to label your final essay draft). Please staple or paperclip together all items that belong
together, such as all prewriting work.
MINIMUM STANDARDS: Although correct formatting is not the most important thing for you to
learn this semester, following these directions demonstrates a certain level of care in your work
and makes your essays easier to read and grade. Therefore, I reserve the right to require
you to redo the formatting on any essay that does not meet a minimum standard. If you
are required to reformat an essay, I will not record a grade for that essay until you
reformat it. PLEASE ask me if you have any questions or concerns about formatting (after you
have read these directions).