MSF page 1

Eden Prairie High School English Dept.      

(Wallenberg rev. 2004-2005)




   1.      IF YOU TYPE YOUR PAPER (See sample shown later on msf page 5.


            a.   When typing the paper, put your last name and page in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch down from the top edge.  All subsequent pages need your name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner.  The text of the subsequent pages begins one inch down

            b.   Put your heading on the left 1” margin.  Double-space the name, the teacher, class title, and due date (date, month, year).

            c.   Center the title double-spaced down from the date. (Put your title in caps and lower case—not all caps!  Do not underline your title or use a larger font.)

            d.   Double-space down from the title to the first line of the text. 

            e.   Use only black type.  Use a 12-point font.  Keep the font choice and font size consistent.

            f.    Margins on the left, right, and bottom must be a minimum of one inch.  Do not justify margins.

            g.   Double-space typewritten pages (except for formal letters--single-space them).  Never single-   or 1-1/2 space.

            h.   All typographical errors in typewritten papers may be corrected neatly with black ink no larger than the type used.  If a finished page contains more than three or four errors which must be corrected in ink, however, it should be retyped.

            i.    Do not type on the back of a sheet of paper.

            j.    Two spaces after periods (and all other endmarks) and colons.  One space after a period used with an abbreviation.  (Mr. Holm)

            k.   One space after commas and semicolons.

            l.    A dash is not a hyphen; use two hyphens to make a dash.  Do not space before or after the dash.




            a.   Use only standard theme paper, 8½ x 11-inch sized, lined with clean edges.  Use only one side.

            b.   Use only black or blue ink.

            c.   In the upper right-hand corner, write:       your name

                                                                                    class title/hour class meets

                                                                                    due date

            d.   Write the title centered on the top line.  Remember to capitalize all words in the title that are important (not conjunctions, articles, or short prepositions).  Do not use quotation marks or underline the title unless there is a special reason for doing so.  

              Example titles:  Literary Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird or Themes in "The Scarlet Ibis”

            e.   Skip one line from the title to the first line of the text.

            f.    Do not write on the last line.  (This is your bottom margin.)

            g.   Left- and right-hand margins should be approximately one inch.  Use the vertical rule on the left as a guide for the right margin.

            h.   Single-space your paper.  Do not skip any lines between paragraphs.  Indent each paragraph five spaces.

            i.    Please label each subsequent page in the top right-hand corner with your name.  Number each subsequent page after the first in Arabic numerals centered at the top with hyphens and a space on either side of the number.

                  Example à                                                                                                Nancy Barnes 2

            j.    Erase or use correction fluid to correct a mistake.  A final copy should have no cross-outs.








MSF page 2                                                                                                                                                  

   3.      SPECIAL RULES                                                                                                     


            a.   LONG or “BLOCK” QUOTATIONS (5 or more lines) are treated specially.

                  (1)     Do not use quotation marks!

                  (2)     Double-space down from the text before and after the quotation.

                  (3)     Indent 10 spaces in from left-hand, one-inch margin.  The right margin should be flush with the usual one-inch margin.

                  (4)     Double-space the quote when typing.


                  (1)     Short works are put in quotation marks.  (Ex. - “The Reeve’s Tale” or “The Scarlet Ibis”)

                  (2)     Long works are underlined.  (Ex. - Canterbury Tales or To Kill a Mockingbird)

                  (3)     The Bible, the books of the Bible, and some of the sacred writings are not underlined.

`                 (4)     Periods and commas ALWAYS go inside quotation marks. Colons and semicolons go ALWAYS go outside quotation marks.

                  (5)     Placement of question marks and exclamation points in relation to quotation marks depend on the situation.

            c.         TABOO WORDS

                  (1)     In a formal essay, NEVER address the reader as “you.”  Do not use “your” or “yours” or the “understood you” either.  Example:  Just imagine sitting in Hamlet’s living room. (The subject is still “you,” even if the word “you” is not physically there!)

                  (2)     In a formal essay, NEVER use the first person (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) except in direct quotes.


            a.   Make sure all characters’ names are spelled correctly.

            b.   Do not use any abbreviations.  Avoid contractions, colloquialisms, and slang, too.

            c.   All numbers that can be said in one or two words must be written out (one, one-third, seventy-four).  All others must be written as numerals (104, 1995).

            d.   If your paper requires a correctly formatted outline and bibliography (or Works Cited page), consult special msf sheets for outlines and Works Cited.  Ask your teacher for these.

            e.   Do not drop in an authority’s name without giving the person’s credentials. The credentials tell us why this person’s opinions might be considered an expert’s.

            d.   Use a slash (/) to separate lines of poetry quoted in the context of your paper.

                  Note!  Always put a space before and after the slash!


            This is clear when the poet says, "Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice. / From what I’ve tasted of desire / I hold with those who favor fire.” (Frost 1-4).



What is a “direct quotation”?

It may be the exact words of a speaker in a novel and already in quotation marks, or it

may be the words of the narrator, which might not be in quotation marks (in which case

            you will need to put quotation marks around it).












                                                                                                                                                MSF page 3


What is “parenthetical documentation”?

You must use correct formal for parenthetical documentation to show where you found

a direct quotation (or any paraphrased material) you have “borrowed” from a source.  This means

that right after the quotation (or paraphrased material), you must write the author of the “borrowed”

material and the page number where you found the “borrowed” material in parentheses.


The quote in the book which I think had the greatest meaning for me was "It's a sin to kill a

mockingbird" (Lee 90).           The period goes AFTER the last parenthesis!


What about or in the middle or end of a direct



                        If you leave any words out at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the

direct quotation, you must use ellipses with square brackets surrounding

them [. . .] to indicate the omission.

                        Let's say the original quote (from page 30) reads like this:

                        "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--"

                        " Sir?"

                        "--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

                        You do not have to use the entire quote (as long as what you take out doesn't

                                    alter the meaning of the quote).  Instead, use square brackets and three ellipsis

                                    points to show you have taken something out.

                        Here is the way you will present this quote (with your omissions) in your paper:


                        "You never really understand a person  [. . .] until you climb into his skin and walk around

                                    in it" (Lee 30).

                        If ellipsis points appear in a direct quote WITHOUT square brackets

surrounding them, that means the original author included those ellipsis points.


                        If you need to add any explanatory information in the middle of the quote, your

words/additions must be placed in square brackets [ ].

                        Example:  "It was then, I [Scout]  suppose, that Jem and I began to part company"  (Lee 56).


What should you do if you find an in a direct quotation?

          First, you do NOT have permission to fix the error!!!

          Second, if you continue to find errors in the original material, perhaps you

                   shouldn't use the material at all.  Errors may indicate that the material

                   is flawed, and this seriously weakens the credibility of the material. 

          However, if you do want to use the material, you will indicate the error

                   with this Latin abbreviation in square brackets:  [sic].



MSF page 4                                                                                                                          

Let's pretend the original quote (from page 154) reads like this:

            "Well, Atticus, I was just sayin' to Mr. Cuningham that entailments are bad an' all that, but

            you said not to worry, it takes a long time sometimes . . . that you all'd ride it out together (Lee 154).


            Mr. Cunningham's name was missing an "n."  Here's how you write the quote:

            "Well, Atticus, I was just sayin' to Mr. Cuningham [sic] that entailments are bad an' all that, but

            you said not to worry, it takes a long time sometimes . . . that you all'd ride it out together (Lee 154).


The reason the three ellipsis points in the second sentence do NOT have square brackets

around them is that Harper Lee put those ellipsis points in, not the student who wrote the paper.



What should I know about “credibility” of sources?


YOU MUST ESTABLISH DIRECTLY IN YOUR PAPER that the sources you used are credible.  In order to

ensure “credibility,” you must include the author’s credentials the first time the author is cited. 

Example:        According to James Dean, professor of English literature at Harvard University,

                        “E.D. Hirsch’s ideas on cultural literacy are key to every teacher’s curriculum” (Dean 75).


NOTE:  If you cannot establish credibility, be highly skeptical of using the source.  Be particularly

                        skeptical of websites that end in .com!  Check with your teacher for further information.


NOTE:  If Dean’s name is in the prefatory remarks, you are not required to put his name in the

parenthetical documentation (but you may if you want).  You can simply put the page number. 


In subsequent uses of Dean’s work, you still need to preface his material by reminding the reader

that it is Dean you are citing. 

Example:        Once again, Professor Dean agrees with Hirsch when he states, “I think it’s more relevant

                        in our lives to know American history in order to be a good citizen” (77).


If you are using a secondary source which quotes a primary source (which you have not seen),

you need to include “qtd.” in the parenthetical documentation.

Example:        Dean agrees with Jeremiah Reedy, a classics professor at Macalester College in St. Paul,

                        who said, “You cannot read in the abstract [. . .], but you have to have the background

                        knowledge E.D. Hirsch thinks is taken for granted by publishers of books, magazines,

                        and newspapers” (qtd. in Dean 79).












                                                                                                                                         MSF page 5


SAMPLE FIRST PAGE OF PAPER                                                                                 

_________________---------------------8 1/2”­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________


                        1”                                                                                                                    ↓ ½”

                                                                                                                                  Anderson 1

Laura Anderson

Professor Olson

            Humanities 2710

            8 May 2004

Ellington’s Adventures in Music and Geography

      Indent ½”  In studying the influence of Latin American, African, and Asian music on modern Amer-←1”→

            ican composers, music historians tend to discuss such figures as Aaron Copland, George Gerswhin,

            Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, and John Cage (Brindle:  Griffiths 104-39; Hitchcock 173-98).

            They usually overlook Duke Ellington, whom Gunther Schuller rightly calls “one of America’s

            great composers” (318), probably because they are familiar only with Ellington’s popular pieces,

            like “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Solitude.”  Still little known are the many

            ambitious orchestral suites Ellington composed, several of which, such as Black, Brown, and Beige

            (originally entitled The African Suite).  The Liberian Suite, The Far East Suite, The Latin American

            Suite, and Afro-Eurasian Eclipse, explore his impressions of the people, places, and music of other


                        Not all music critics, however, have ignored Ellington’s excursions into longer musical

            forms. Raymond Horricks compared him with Ravel, Delius, and Debussy:

            Indent 1” à   The continually enquiring mind of Ellington [. . .] has sought to extend steadily the imaginative boundaries of the musical form on which it subsists.  [. . .] Ellington

                                    since the mid-1930s has been engaged upon extending both the imagery and the

                                    formal construction of written jazz.  To this day, critics have marveled at the way Ellington dared to reach such heights.  (122-23)

←1”→Ellington’s earliest attempts to move beyond the four-minute limit imposed by the composers who← 1”