Please follow these guidelines when writing your papers.

Deadlines Submit your papers by the deadlines stated in the syllabus. You have three grace days for several papers except the final paper, for which there are no free extensions. By the day before the deadline if you have a problem before the final paper, be sure to talk to me.

Basic Elements

  • Mechanics are very important. They are the basic tools that make the paper possible.
  • a) Descriptive Title. As easy as this is, some people forget.
  • b) Introductory Paragraph or Thesis. A thesis paragraph states what you’re setting out to show in your paper and how you will do this. An introductory paragraph provides the reader with a definite knowledge of what the paper is mostly about. Generally speaking it is a idea that is good avoid the overuse associated with first person voice, since this can interrupt the flow of the prose. Here are a few examples to think about:

Effective introductory paragraph that does not use „I“: In Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris writes about her life from the Western plains of this United States. She describes it as a kind of monastic world for which she’s got had the oppertunity to come in touch with her spiritual roots through the lives of those there, the land, together with solitude of her own life that is inner. She does not falsely idealize life from the plains as some sort of paradise out of the urban jungle. In fact, she actually is critical of the insularity and pettiness of the towns that are small which she lives and works. Instead of detracting through the positive sense of her life there, however, her critical perspectives make her work more real and lead your reader to want to get to learn her together with plains better. Effective introductory paragraph that uses „I“: In reading Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, I became struck because of the beauty of Kathleen Norris‘ prose along with her ability to convey the subtleties and complexities of her life there, of individuals, place, and time, the relation between work, art, additionally the life that is spiritual. In the beginning, she is read by me act as the account of a woman and a culture vastly not the same as my very own. I became aware that, in some ways, her world mirrored mine as I continued to read, however. While speaking out of a definite geographical and landscape that is cultural Norris will make us recognize attributes of our own lives of which we may not have been previously aware. Weak paragraph that is introductory uses „I“: In this paper, i am going to talk about Kathleen Norris’s book Dakota-A Spiritual Geography. I will discuss her views in the relation involving the Dakotas as a geographical location and a place that is spiritual. I shall show that there is a link between the 2. I shall use ideas from her work as well as Carol Christ’s ideas about nature. I will also show that, while beneficial in several ways, Christ’s ideas are insufficient for understanding Norris‘ complete view of life when you look at the Dakotas.

  • c) Conclusion. The conclusion brings the basic ideas of one’s paper back in succinct focus. This could involve some summarizing but should also refocus ideas by reformulating a number of your ideas that are thesis/introductory a way not possible with out browse the body of the paper. You may not answer all relevant questions that you raised or resolve all issues outlined in your introduction. One good way to conclude your paper would be to raise further questions, showing your understanding of their existence and possibilities for further inquiry. Sometimes, the most effective questions give rise to even more questions.
  • d) Documentation. Once you make generalizations or assertions, document your claims with references, either from the readings or the lectures. In the event that you make a statement that seems controversial and you also don’t cite a reference, I quickly will likely not know where your opinions came from. You can not be too careful with this point.
  • e) Format for References. When it comes to paper that is final my goal is to ask which you all use footnotes or endnotes following the format given into the syllabus and the writing sample. Please be aware the use of commas and parentheses. For shorter papers, you might use parenthetical notes. (You should follow one of several formats that are standard parenthetical use.)
  • f) Page numbers. Just in case the pages come loose, I shall manage to read your paper.
  • g) Use block quotations for citations four lines or longer. When using block quotations, don’t use quotation marks at the start and end associated with the block. Make use of the margin command rather than the tab command to generate block quotations. This may make it a lot easier for you.
  • h) Subheadings. These are not necessary, however you may believe it is beneficial to insert subheadings while you go along. They could allow you to to arrange your paper in addition to to let the reader realize that new topics are now being addressed.
  • a) Check your spelling. There should be few errors in this regard.
  • b) Run-on and incomplete sentences. Avoid sentences which can be a long time. Check to make sure that you don’t have sentences that are incomplete.
  • c) Punctuation. Punctuation should follow standard guidelines. There clearly was often confusion about commas. There are a few rules that are simple will keep you out of trouble. We have summarized them here. Otherwise, consult a writing manual or ask the instructor. „The Elementary Rules of Usage“ from William Strunk’s the weather of Style covers most cases of comma usage including those that apply to independent and dependent clauses.
  • d) Tenses. Be consistent in your utilization of past and tense that is present. If you are writing a thought paper (ideas, philosophy), it really is accepted practice to put everything in the present tense. For example, you might write, „The Buddha says, . . . .“ or „The Tibetan master Milarepa behaves in unconventional ways.“ If you’re writing a research paper dealing with historical issues, you ought to put scholarly assertions in the present tense („I think,“ „Gregory Schopen states“) and historical facts when you look at the past („Shakyamuni delivered a sermon,“ „Devadatta turned traitor“). In every full case, be consistent.

There are some matters that are stylistic note.

  • a) Use natural English. There’s no necessity to fill technical vocabulary to your paper or difficult terms. Them, they will have a greater effect when you write for the most part in clear, straightforward English if you do use.
  • b) Avoid using conjunctions that are too many qualifiers, such as for example „however,“ „then,“ and „given that.“ Usually, your reader will discover how one sentence pertains to the second minus the utilization of these terms, as well as the resulting paper will be simpler to read. Make use of your own good judgement as to when they are necessary. As a rule of thumb, use sparingly.
  • c) Gendered pronouns. It is currently widely considered that the exclusive utilization of male pronouns to mention to both sexes is unacceptable. You can find a true number of strategies which you can use to negotiate this matter. You might use i) male and female pronouns alternately, ii) neutral pronouns such as „one“ and „they“; however, avoid mixing those two pronouns within the same sentence, iii) both (When a person finds him or herself in this case . . .), or iv) „s/he“. You will find, however, possible exceptions. For those who is safe have any questions about this, please see me.

Don’t use „one“ and „they“ as pronouns for the referent that is sameThis confusion arises because of the use of „they“ as opposed to „his“ or „her.“) Be careful by using humans or beings that are human replace „men.“ „Human beings“ is oftentimes more appropriate than „humans,“ and quite often „people“ is an improved choice.

Common Errors

  • a) “ Different from.“ „not the same as“ may be the usage that is correct not „different than.“
  • b) „Complementary“ versus „Complimentary.“ Make sure to know the difference between these two words. Yin and yang are complementary. Words of praise are complimentary.
  • c) „Affect“ versus „effect.“ One could assess the economic ramifications of having inventory that is too much but one cannot easily affect nationwide economic trends that will decrease consumer demand.
  • d) A „novel“ is a work of fiction. Memoirs, journals, biographies, and autobiographies are nonfiction works. Usually do not make reference to them as „novels.“