St. Croix Lutheran High School
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Text Formatting



A. Indent the first sentence of each paragraph.

B. Avoid using many short or many long paragraphs in succession.


A. Incorporate the title of works referred to in the paper into the text of the paper. Indicate the type of work researched by using the following forms of punctuation:

  1. Underline the titles of published books, plays, long poems published as books, pamphlets, periodicals (magazines or journals), operas, movies, and classical works. Do not underline the books of the Bible.
  2. Enclose in quotation marks but do not underline the titles of articles, essays,short stories, short poems, songs, chapters, and selections of books and unpublished material.
  3. A series or edition of books receives no special treatment except for capitalization of important words. For example: The Time/Life Series on WWI.


A. All quotations reproduce the cited work word for word. This includes word order, spelling, and punctuation.

B. Some longer quotations require special punctuation.

1. Ellipsis: To indicate that part of a sentence has been eliminated, use three spaced periods . . .

a. If the first part of a sentence is being eliminated, begin the ellipsis immediately after the period of the preceding sentence without an extra space.

b. Do not place an ellipsis in such a position that it introduces sentence fragment.

2. Poetry: To include a line or verse of poetry within the text, simply set off by quotation marks.

a. To indicate the end of one line and the beginning of the next use a slash /after the end punctuation of each line, if there is any punctuation. Mary had a little lamb. / It's fleece was white as snow.

b. A line of verse may be emphasized by separating it from the text with a colon, centering it on the page, and not using quotation marks unless they appear in the original poem.

3. Prose: Incorporate short prose quotes (fewer than 100 words) into the text, setting them off with quotation marks. Long quotes of more than 100 words or four typed lines should be separated from the text. Do this by indenting five spaces from the left and right margins and maintaining this indentation throughout the quote. Do not set off this passage with quotation marks.

a. Double space the long quote.

b. Quotations within the quote must be set apart with quotation marks.

c. Do not indent the quotation unless it is the beginning of a paragraph in the original text.


A. The most acceptable method of citing references is the in-text reference rather than a footnote. Egs. (Smythe 62)

B. If a direct quotation is included within the text without a reference to the author within the body of the text, simply include author's last name and the page number within parentheses after the end quotation marks but before the period. "Daily exercise is the single most important factor in preventing osteoporosis "(Smythe 43).

C. The reference made to a specific work may incorporate the author's name into the text and include the page or line reference enclosed in parentheses after the end quotation marks but before the period. In his book, Mr. James Smythe stresses that "daily exercise is the single most important factor in preventing osteoporosis " (43).

D. If a quote is taken from an author with several literary selections referred to in the body of the paper, the author's last name, title of reference, and page number are included in the parentheses after the end quotation marks but before the period. "Daily exercise is the single most important factor in preventing osteoporosis" (Smythe, Aging Gracefully 43).

E. If information is paraphrased (rewritten in one's own words), the information must still be documented. After the paraphrase include the author's last name and page number(s) from where the information was taken. Egs. (Smythe 43).Two or more authors are cited as follows: (Smythe and Jones 45) or (Smythe,Jones, and McCall 46).


A. Usage of all punctuation should be as consistent as possible.

B. Wherever commas are considered optional, prefer to omit the comma.

C. Unless the context clearly calls for one, omit exclamation marks.

D. Avoid hyphenation as much as possible. Refer to a dictionary when in doubt about syllabic breakdown.

E. Periods end sentences within texts and notes, and periods end footnotes and bibliographical references listed under the Works Cited.

F. Periods may follow a set of parentheses that fall at the end of a sentence (such as this).

G. (A period is placed within the parentheses when the parenthetical element is independent.)

H. Enclose in quotation marks words to which attention is being directed such as: slang, words purposely misused, words not used in their normal part of speech and English translation of words or phrases from a foreign language.
That was a "cheesy" expression on your face. (slang)
You put too many "anas" in your sentences. (Words not used in normal part of speech.)

I. Quotations within a quotation require special punctuation.

1. Begin your quotation with double quotation marks and set apart any quotes within the quotation with single quotation marks.
Luke records, "When one of those at the table heard this, he said to Jesus, 'Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."'

2. All periods should be placed before the final quotation marks UNLESS:

a. the quotation is followed by a parenthetical reference (see IV. Citations).

b. the quotation is followed by an ellipses: ". . . at the feast in the kingdom of God."

c. an exact replication of the original punctuation in necessary.

3. Other punctuation goes inside the quotation marks only when it is actually part of the matter quoted.


A. Generally, within the body of the text, numbers of fewer than two digits should be spelled out except in technical or statistical listings or in footnotes or works cited.

B. Never use a capital I for the Arabic number one. If using a typewriter with no "1," use the lower case "l."

C. Numerals beginning sentences should always be spelled out. Forty-four people were in attendance.

D. Writing dates should be consistent, although dates may be written two different ways.

1. April 1, 1996 or 1 April 1996

2. When including BC or AD, write BC after the date and AD before the date.

E. When referring to a century or decade follow the following rules.

1. Write 1700's.

2. Spell out a decade such as seventies.

3. Write in 1982-83 or from 1982-1983 but not from 1982-83.

4. Spell out references to centuries: in the twentieth century.

F. In connecting consecutive numbers, give the second in full for numbers through 99; for larger numbers give only two figures of the second if it is within the same hundred: 21-28; 345-46; 1608-74; 12345-49.

G. When writing Roman Numerals use capital letters following names,(Henry VIII), acts of plays, or scenes of plays, if so designated by the instructor.

H. Use lower case letters when citing page numbers numbered in such a way. (This type of numbering system is usually found in a preface.)


A. Spelling, including hyphenation, must be consistent, except when copying a direct quotation including a unique spelling or a dialect.

B. Use one standard dictionary throughout.

C. Possessive forms of nouns use an apostrophe.

1. Add an 's to singular and plural common nouns which do not end in "s."(the television's screen, the children's story hour)

2. Add an 's to singular proper nouns even those ending in "s." (James's book, Byron's poetry)

3. To common nouns or proper nouns ending in "s" or "es" just add an apostrophe, (the cats' bowls, the Joneses' yachts)

4. Use an apostrophe to denote plurals of letters. (Mind your p's and q's.)

5. Another common use of the apostrophe is in the contraction; however using contractions is not recommended when writing a research paper.

D. Capitalize the first letter of the first word and of all principal words.

1. Include nouns and proper adjective in hyphenated compounds.

2. Do not include articles, prepositions, or conjunctions in English titles of of publications, in divisions of works, in subjects of lectures, or when referring to magazines or newspapers within a text, (in the Daily Bugle)

3. Do not treat an initial definite article as part of the title except when the name is cited separately as a source in a reference, a footnote, or works cited.

4. Capitalize references to parts of a specific work. (Moreley's Preface)

5. Capitalize and, in documentation only, abbreviate a noun followed by a numeral indicating place in a sequence. (Vol. 2; No. 29; Act V)

6. Do not capitalize these abbreviations: fol., n. 1., p. or sig.

7. Never capitalize entire words in titles cited in text or notes.


A. The first time you refer to a person within the body of the text use the full name.

B. Do not use titles such as Dr., Rev., Mr., Mrs., or Ms.; use only last names.

C. After the initial reference, only the surname (last name) needs to be used, unless there are two people with the same last name. Then it is proper to include the initial of the first name. (M. Mead)



last updated: 5-jan-04