Home Page Romantic Lit. & the ArtsMilton & the 17th Century

Format, Documentation,
Academic Integrity

En 102-04 Honors ...
Milton & the 17th Century ...
Romantic Literature & the Arts
Evolution in Biology & Lit.


For my courses, please use the format shown in the following sample pages:

Avoid title pages in short essays. Simply place your own imaginative title on your first page. The first page has no page number. Spacing is double throughout, including works cited (when needed) and block quotations. Only personal information is single spaced.



Most instructors ask that you use any of the prevailing documentation styles for parenthetical footnotes: APA (Amer. Psychological Assoc.), MLA (Modern Language Assoc. of Amer.), or the CBE (Council of Biological Editors) format. Historians often prefer the University of Chicago format presented in Kate Turabian's guides. In MLA style, use Notes only for explanations or information that would disrupt the flow of your text. Use Works Cited for any books or articles you have referred to in your parenthetical documentation. When quoting, it is best to quote only short sections, even words and phrases, to avoid chewing up space. More than four lines of prose may be placed in a block quotation, indented double a paragraph indentation. When quoting a long passage, the reader's expectation is that you will then proceed to analyze the passage for its language or its ideas. Paraphrasing is a useful substitute for quotation, but make certain your paraphrasing is completely your language. All quotations must be worked into your sentence sense and grammar. The Bedford Handbook, our handbook from freshman composition, is a fine guide to information about how to quote, how to paraphrase, how and when to punctuate and document quotations and paraphrased material, and much else. Copies of the APA, MLA, CBE, and Turabian guides are in the QC Library as well as in most sizable book stores. I have seen them in the Campus Store.





Final Matter

To the left is an example of the final matter of your essay - not all of which is always needed. (For ease of reading the example, I have avoided the recommended double spacing.) For long essays, or as needed, you would have two sections preceding this one: An Acknowledgments section would credit those whose help you enlisted in researching or writing the essay. A Notes section would have numbered explanatory notes, bibliographic references, sidelights, and definitions which are important enough to include, but only as notes. Superscripted footnote numbers are used in the essay text and in the Notes. Otherwise, few instructors ask for footnotes or endnotes these days - although some publications and some academic disciplines (history) do use them. 


Citing from Literary Works:

There are specific MLA forms for citing plays, movies, poems, operas, epics, and so forth. When you block  quote poetry lines, maintain their exact indentations, spelling, and punctuation, excepting end punctuation. If you run poetry lines into your own sentence, use slash lines / At the ends of poetry lines. Plays generally receive act, scene, and line number, while epics receive book and line numbers (e.g. The Odyssey I.2-12). Note that for block quotations, end punctuation is placed in the quotation, unlike the practise for quotations run into your own prose.

Important Note About Research:

Providing this information on format and documentation does not mean that instructors automatically expect you to do a lots of research - especially secondary research - for courses. In fact, too much research might detract from the time you spend reading primary for understanding, for thinking creatively about meaning, and for writing and revising so as to present your understanding of the readings and to tell us what you think.

Word Processing:

Be sure to keep copies of your college work on two disks, or on your computer's hard drive and on a separate floppy or zip disk. Hard drives and disks can and do crash.

A Final Note:

In all you write for this course, I am looking for your growing comprehension of seventeenth-century literature and culture, for imaginative interpretations of the fictions, and clever insights into the topics of the period. In your essays, strive for clear, well organized prose that sparkles with your wit and verve. An informal style of writing, sprinkled with elegance, best suits your ferociously well-edited essays.

Documentation of Electronic Sources:

An important recent addition to the need for documentation. In addition to CD-ROM databases, the Internet is an invaluable resource for lots of good information - as well as gobs of poor information. All these riches must be documented, whether images, music samples, or text. There are documentation formats for all electronic forms: CD-ROM, e-mail, news groups, Telnet, the WWW, and so forth. Below is a standard MLA entry for the WWW.

Burka, Lauren P. "A Hypertext History of Multi-User Dimensions."

MUD History. 1993. <http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/1pb/mud-history.html>

(5 Dec. 1994).

For further information, please visit the English Additional Pages. Once there, click on the hot link, "Recommended Internet Resources." To go there directly, click on Recommended Internet Resources, and once there, look under the category, "Writing Guides and Information."

Here is a list of other relevant Web sites:

The Internet:

The Internet has become a prime and indispensable source for legitimate research. But it is a young technology, and extremely open. In one sense, any "hot link" leads to every other hot link. Use the Internet wisely, and observe caution by avoiding Web sites that trade in smut. The Internet is so valuable, and yet so new an asset that we ought not to use it, or misuse it, in a way that will tempt some - part of whose job it is to assess the impact of our actions on public relations - to censor its use on campus, or to censure your professors. This is a very serious statement, and I implore you to honor it. Academic privilege to use well-documented material is a privilege to be safeguarded. Although I personally do not believe in censorship, be assured that many people do.

      Once on the Internet, one can download texts, or parts of texts, images, diagrams, and other visual forms, and then load them directly into your word processor for integration within your essays. In addition, multimedia essays or projects can be loaded onto the Internet, as some of my upper-level students may well do this semester.

The Internet and Copyright:

The issue of copyright, not fully worked out for the Internet, remains an important issue. One could write an interesting reference essay on this topic, and perhaps one of you would like to do so. When downloading materials from the Internet for academic use, or e-mail, or telnet (say from a library), always cite your sources accurately and fully. Look for statements concerning fair use or copy permission procedures on the Web sites you visit. You may need to write for permission. However, for student and general educational use, so long as financial profit is not involved, I do not anticipate a problem, especially if you are not placing your essay, or project, on a publicly accessible segment of the Internet. However, I advise restricting the Internet materials to college use, restricting the number of copies you make, and reserving them for academic use only.

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 Last modified: 8/8/2000
Maintained by Stephen Gottlieb. E-mail ... Prof. Emeritus Stephen A. Gottlieb