Final Draft Format

Ask your instructor for his or her requirements for final draft format, and follow them to the letter.  The following are typical.

1.  Use 8 1/2 x 11″ white paper, 20 pound paper weight.

Do not use erasable bond.  Write on only one side of the paper.  If your instructor allows it, you may use erasable paper and turn in a photocopy.

2.  Use a fresh typewriter ribbon and clean keys or a letter quality printer.

If you print using continuous computer paper, detach the pages, remove the fringed edges, and assemble the pages in order.  (With most modern computers and printers, you won’t have these issues.  However, pay close attention to page numbering and ordering your pages.)

3.  If you are using a computer, set the justification to left, not full.

(Full justification means straight margins.)  Left justification will present a straight left-hand margin and a ragged right-hand margin.  This is easier to read that text that has been justified on both sides, as it avoids the odd word spacing of full justification.  If you are handwriting, remember you do not have to create a straight right-hand margin.  Attempts to do so create hyphenation errors.

4.  Use standard typeface or font.

Do not use italics, all caps, or another unusual typeface throughout.  These type styles are difficult to read.

5.  Allow margins of one inch on all four sides of the paper. 

6.  Double space throughout.

7.  Do not include a separate title page.

On page one only, in the upper left-hand corner, write your full name, instructor’s name, course number, and the date.  Begin one inch down.  List each item on a separate line.

Example:  Michael P. Schmidt
Professor Martin
English 100
October 26, 20XX

8.  Number all pages.

Put the number in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch down. Give your last name and the page number.  On a computer, set your name and page number to print automatically through controls for the “header”.

Example:                                                                                                                                    Schmidt 2

9.  Your title.

Center your title.  Capitalize all important words: the first word, and all nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.  Do not put your title in all capital letters.  Do not underline your title or put it in quotation marks.

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10.  Indent each paragraph five spaces or 1/2 inch.  Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs.

11.  Proofread carefully.

Make any corrections or additions neatly in black ink.

12.  Staple or paperclip your paper in the upper left-hand corner.

Don’t fold or dog-ear your pages. Don’t put your paper in a folder or cover unless asked to.


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