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Format for Papers


    All papers are to be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font and double-spaced with one inch margins on all
    four sides
    MS 2

   Use the MLA heading below for all written work; the heading is double-spaced.  The date is the date the
    assignment is due and written in military order with the month abbreviated to three letters (June, July, and
    May are not abbreviated.)

                                                                                                                                                                                             Last Name Page Number

    Your Name

    Teacher's Name

    Name of Class

    Date in Military Order (16 May 2016, for example).

Title Appropriate to Subject

     MS 3        
    Use a page header - Place your last name and page number in the top right-hand corner of each page.

                                                                                                                                       Last Name Page Number

     MS 4
    Write a short, interesting, and appropriate title that is the same font and size as the document.  Do not                underline, put in quotation marks, write in all capital letters, or place extra spacing above or below the title.

    MS 5

    Spell out numbers written in one or two words and represent other numbers by numerals:  one, thirty-six,
    one hundred, three million, 101, 137,

    MS 6    
    Use numerals for all numbers that are technical units of measurement:  8.3, 3%, $9, 2".

    MS 7
    Do not begin a sentence with a numeral:  Nineteen ninety-four began with several spectacular events.

    MS 8                            
    For large numbers, you may use a combination of numerals and words:  4.5 million.
    MS 9            
    Express related numbers in the same style:  only 5 out of the 250 delegates.

Usage Errors

    S 0    
    Sentence Fragment:  
    Do not use fragments as complete sentences.  A sentence must have a            subject and a predicate.  
    Leaving Nan and me standing helplessly on the corner.  

    As we ran toward the bus, it drove off, leaving Nan and me on the corner.

    S 1
    Run-on Sentence
    Avoid compounding independent and dependent clauses without sufficient        reason or without punctuation.

    Last year we spent our vacation in Florida, this summer we plan to visit                Hawaii.  

    S 2
    Combine related ideas into one sentence/one paragraph.  Select appropriate     conjunctions, prepositions, and transitional phrases that show the correct            relationship between the sentence parts of paragraphs.

    S 3-1

    Subject-Verb Agreement
    When the subject and verb are in agreement, they are both either singular or     plural.


    One reason for the accident rates are speeding cars.
    One reason for the accidents is speeding cars.

    S 3-2
    Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement:
    A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number, person, and gender.  
    Demonstrative pronouns must agree in number with the words they modify.

    Neither Matthew nor Samuel can find their gloves.
    Neither Matthew or Samuel can find his gloves.
    S 4
    Indefinite Pronoun Reference:
    Avoid using pronouns that have no clear reference to antecedent nouns or           pronouns.


    The story was exciting, but she didn't explain what happened at the end.

    The story was exciting, but the author didn't explain what happened at the             end.  

    S 5
    Misplaced Modifiers:
    Place modifying words, phrases, and clauses near the word modified.


    A flag on the stage had only forty-eight stars.  

    A flag which only had forty-eight stars was on the stage.
    S 6
    Dangling Modifiers:
    Participles and infinitives must relate unmistakably to the words they modify.

    Error in Participle:
    Arranged on the mantelpiece I used Christmas cards as colorful decorations.

    I arranged Christmas cards on the mantelpiece as colorful decorations.

    Error in Infinitive:

    To write the paper, the research was gathered.
    The research was gathered to write the paper.

    S 7
    Shift in Tense Construction:
    Do not change needlessly from one tense to another within a sentence,                paragraph or paper.  The perfect tenses are mainly used in expressing action     that has been completed or finished.  When one thing happened before            something else, the perfect tense form shows the relation.

    Chris grabbed her coat and rushes out.

    Chris grabbed her coat and rushed out.
    Error in Perfect Tense:    

    He immediately felt sorry that he spoke so harshly. 

    He immediately felt sorry that he had spoken so harshly.
     S 8
    Tense in Literature References:
    References to examples in literature are usually written in present tense.


    Huckleberry ran into Jim on Jackson's island.
    Huckleberry runs into Jim on Jackson's island.

    S 9
    Shift in Person and/or Voice
    Avoid unnecessary shifting of person and/or voice within one sentence.

    Error in Person:
    If a student does his homework daily, your test results will reflect this effort.

    If a student does his homework daily, his test results will reflect this effort.

    Error in Voice:
    Volunteers began the dangerous journey after dark, but no wolves were               encountered.
    S 10     Use of Second Person Point of        View:
    Avoid second person point of view unless the writer is speaking specifically to     the reader.  Most writing avoids second person. 
      Error in Person:          You are going to India through your imagination.
      Correction:          A person can visit India through his imagination.     
    S 11      Use of Third Person Point of            View:         Avoid personal pronouns such as I, we us, them, etc. when writing formal            papers.  Third person objective is the preferred point of view 
      Error:      We are going to make a model of the solar system. 
      Correction:      The science class is going to make a model of the solar system. 
    S 12      Faulty Parallelism:      Parallel ideas should be expressed in parallel construction. 
      Error:      Mark enjoys soccer, art, and to go to the movies. 
      Correction:         Mark enjoys soccer, art and movies. 
    S 13      Awkward Construction      Avoid awkward or obscure sentences.  Complete every construction                   clearly and sensibly. 
    S 14      Abbreviations/Contractions      Avoid the use of abbreviations and contractions in formal papers. 
    S 15      Coordinating Conjunctions:      Avoid beginning a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. 
      Error:      But he was not guilty. 
      Correction:          However, he was not guilty. 
    S 16      Expletives:      Avoid beginning sentences with an expletive such as There or Here
      Error:      There are some people gossiping. 
          Correction:          Some people are gossiping. 

Common Diction Errors

    D 0      Wrong Word:      Check the meaning of this word in the dictionary. 
    D 1     Choice of Words:      Select a more appropriate word or expression.  Avoid vague words                   such as good, a lot, very, bad, etc.  Also avoid common works, slang,               clichés or colloquialisms in formal writing. 
    D 2      Wordiness:      Avoid repetition, wordiness, and redundancy 
    Error:      In spite of our efforts to try to keep the sinking boat afloat on the water, it            sank to the bottom.
      Correction:      In spite of our efforts, the boat sank. 
    D 3-1      Objective & Nominative                    Pronouns:      Use the correct pronoun. 
    No one told Fred and I about the test. 
      Correction:      No one told Fred and me about the test. 
    D 3-2          Possessive Pronouns:      Always use a possessive pronoun before a gerund. 
      Error:      We could not stand him whining about everything. 
                  Correction:      We could not stand his whining about everything. 
    D 4      Confusing Parts of Speech:      Do not use adjectives for adverbs.  Do not use prepositions for                           conjunctions. 
      Error with Adjective/Adverb:      He has been playing tennis regular. 
                      Correction:      He has been playing tennis regularly. 
      Error in                                             Preposition/Conjunction      The children acted like they were tired.
      Correction:     The children acted as if they were tired. 
    D 5      Degrees of Comparison:      Use the correct degree of comparison when using adjectives and                       adverbs. 
      Error:      This beach is more sandier than the other one. 
          Correction:      This beach is sandier than the other one. 

Common Punctuation Errors

    P 0              Unnecessary Punctuation:          Do not use punctuation marks without a logical reason. 
    P 1     End Punctuation:      Use proper end punctuation after statements, questions, and exclamations;         use a period after initials and abbreviations 


    P 2-1                Use a comma to separate words, phrases, or clauses in a series. 
          Words:      Students, teachers, parents, and visitors attended the picnic. 
      Phrases:      They roamed over the hill, through the fields, and to the castle. 
      Clauses:      Who the students are, when they arrived, and where they come from were        question still not answered. 
    P 2-2            Use a comma before the conjunction connecting independent clauses in a        compound sentence. 
              Example:      Everyone was at the game, but Quincy arrived one hour late. 
    P 2-3            Use a comma to set off introductory adverb clauses, participial phrases, and        infinitive phrases. 
          Adverb Clause:      Until we found the source of the fire, everyone was searching nervously            through the closets and wastebaskets. 
      Participial Phrase:      Pausing for a moment in the doorway, the teacher smiled at the class. 
      Infinitive Phrase:      To pass the exam, she had to receive a 70% 
    P 2-4                Use a comma after two or more introductory prepositional phrases or after        one long introductory prepositional phrase. 
      Example:      In the park near my house, a music festival will take place this weekend.
    P 2-5                 Use a comma to set off introductory words. 
      Example:      Exhausted, she fell asleep. 
    P 2-6        Use a comma to set off nonrestrictive clauses and phrases.     
          Clause:      Ella Riley, who likes animals, wants to be a veterinarian. 
         Phrase:      Senator Stewart, hoping for a compromise, began a filibuster. 
    P 2-7                Use a comma to set off appositive words and phrases; restrictive appositives     are rarely set off by commas. 
          Word:      Kristen Kelly, my cousin, received an award. 
    Chita Rivera, an extremely talented dancer, received an ovation.  
      Restrictive:     The poet Ted Kooser will be here tomorrow. 
    P 2-8                        Use a comma to separate items in dates and addresses. 
      Example:     Matthew was born on July 9, 1994, in Omaha, Nebraska, on a sunny day. 
    P 2-9             Use a comma to set off parenthetical expressions or other interrupters. 
      Parenthetical:      He did not, however, keep his promise. 
      Interrupter:      Most people, I believe, prefer dark clothes in winter. 
    P 2-10                Use a comma to separate contrasted elements in a sentence. 
      Example:      Your misspelling is due to carelessness, not to ignorance. 
     P 2-11       Use a comma to separate two or more adjectives preceding a noun.                    However, do not use a comma before the final adjective in a series if the              adjective cannot be placed elsewhere in the series. 
       Example     Did you see that boring, silly, worthless movie? 
       Example     It was a crisp, clear fall day     
    P 2-12        Use a comma to set off a title, such as Jr., Sr., or Ph.D., that follows a                 person's name. 
    Mark Bacon, D.V.M., is a guest speaker. 
    P 2-13            Use a comma to set off words in a direct quotation. 
     Example:      By the way, John, the new schedule begins Monday.     
    P 2-14            Use a comma before a direct quotation. 
      Example:      After the long speech, Frank asked, "Could I be heard?" 


    P 3-1            Use a semicolon between independent clauses that are closely related in            thought and are not joined by a coordinating conjunction 
      Example:          Earl painted the porch; his father paid him for the job. 
    P 3-2            Use a semicolon to separate items in a series if they are subdivided by                 commas. 
          Example:      The examinations will be held on Wednesday, June 26; Thursday, June 27;        and Friday, June 28. 
    P 3-3        Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a conjunctive               adverb or a transitional expression.  Follow the adverb or transition with a         comma.
      Example:      Ann did as she was told; however, she grumbled ungraciously. 
    P 3-4        Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined by a coordinating         conjunction if the clauses are long or contain commas. 
      Example:      He was, if anything, angry; and I was puzzled. 


    P 4-1        Use a colon to introduce a list of items after expressions like as follows and         the following. 
      Example:      The following students were called to the office: John Smith, Mary Jones, and     Sally White. 
    P 4-2            Do not use a colon when a verb or a preposition performs the introductory           function. 
      Example     The students on the field trip include Julies, Kiera, Matthew, Mark and Sam. 
    P 4-3        Use a colon to introduce a long or formal direct quotation.     
    P 4-4        Use a colon before an explanation which follows an introductory statement. 
      Example:              Only one other possibility remains: to travel by bus. 
    P 4-5        Use a colon to signal subtitles. 
              Example:      Person to Person: An Introduction to Communication 
    P 4-6        Use a colon to signal important ideas. 
      Example:      Note: This occurred only once. 


    P 5-1            Use an apostrophe and an s to form the possessive of a singular noun or the     possessive of a plural noun that does not end in s. 
      Singular:      I borrowed Martha's car. 
          Plural:      The children's toys were scattered around the room. 
    P 5-2        Use an apostrophe after the s in a plural noun ending in s
      Example:          Both girls' behaviors were fine. 
    P 5-3       In compound nouns, names of organizations and business firms, and words        showing joint possession, only the last word is possessive in form. 
      Compound Nouns:      Her mother-in-law's purse was stolen. 
      Organization:      The school board's decision was important. 
      Joint Possession:      Samuel and Mark's room was cleaned. 
    P 5-4        Use an apostrophe to show where letters or numbers have been omitted in a     contraction. 
      Example:      She isn't here. 
        'Til we meet again.
    P 5-5        Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of an abbreviation or a number. 
      Example:      1990s, fours. 


    P 6-1        Use italics (underlining) for titles and subtitles of books, plays, long poems,        periodicals, works or art, films, radio and television series, long musical works     and recordings, videos, video and computer games, and comic strips. 
    P 6-2        Use italics (underlining) for the names of trains, ships, aircraft. 
    P 6-3        Use italics (underlining) for words, letters, symbols, and numerals referred to     as such and for foreign words that have not been adopted into English. 
      Example:      The most common word in English is the; the letters used most frequently are     e and t; and the numerals most often used are 7 and 9


    P 8-1        Use a hyphen between compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine. 
    P 8-2        Use a hyphen between two or more words which serve as a single adjective        unless they come after the word being modified. 
      Example:     a well-kept lawn.  
    The lawn is well kept. 
    P 8-3        Use a hyphen between certain words that may be used to form a single noun     or other part of speech. 
      Example:      mother-in-law, self-confidence, man-of-war 

Quotation Marks

    P 9-1        Use double quotation marks to enclose direct quotations, title of short stories,     essays, booklets, short poems, songs, chapter headings, individual tv and            radio episodes 
    P 9-2        Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation 
    P 9-3        Place periods and commas inside closing quotation marks. 
      Example:      "Tell me," Mary asked, "whether Mom said, 'The party was lovely.'" 
    P 9-4        Place semicolons and colons outside closing quotation marks. 
    P 9-5            Quotation marks and exclamation points are placed inside the closing                quotation marks if the quotation is  question or an exclamation; otherwise,         they are placed outside. 
       Examples:         She asked, "Have I enough money?"
    Did she say, "I have enough money?" 
    P 9-6        Do not place in quotation marks or underline the Bible, its books or divisions;     other holy scriptures; or titles of government charters, alliances, treaties, or         statutes. 


    C-0            Do not use unnecessary capitalization. 
         Capitalize the first word of a sentence or a direct quotation. 
    C-2        Capitalize the first word and all important words of a title.  Do not capitalize        the articles, prepositions, or conjunctions unless they serve as the first or the     last word. 
    C-3        Capitalize all proper nouns and proper adjectives. 
    C-4        Capitalize honorary titles or their abbreviations when they precede personal        names or when they refer to highest ranking officials. 


    SP            Spelling must be correct in all instances.  Consult a dictionary. 

Research Rules

Parenthetical Documentation

    PD-0        Absence of parenthetical documentation when documentation is necessary 
    PD-1        Do not use punctuation between the author's name and the page number.        (Bacon 53). 
    PD-2        Place the citation at the end of the sentence but before the final period.  
    He loves the movie The Holy Grail (Samuels 3) 
    PD-3        Omit the page number when the source is one page in length or is from a            source which lists its information alphabetically such as dictionary or                    encyclopedia. 
    PD-4        Paraphrased Passage with One Author.
    Medieval Europe was a place of raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion                (Gottlieb 42).
    PD-5        Paraphrased Passage with Two or Three Authors. 
    (Angell and Smith 48)
    (Angell, Smith, and Jones 48).
    PD-6        Paraphrased Passage with More than Three Authors
    (Williams et al. 97)
    *et al means and others 
    PD-7        Paraphrased Passage with a Corporate Author.
    (American Red Cross 59). 
    PD-8        Use the first main word of the title when no author is listed.  Titles of magazine     articles are enclosed in quotations, and titles of books are underlined.
    A book title is College Bound Seniors would be documented (College 15). 
    A magazine article title is "Study Finds Smoking on the Rise" would be                documented ("Study" 96). 
    PD-9        Paraphrased Passage with Authors with the same last name
    (S.E. Jones 142).
    (R.L. Jones 103). 
    PD-10        Paraphrased Passage with a Lead-In (Internal Validity)
    Smith, a medical doctor, compared smokers to non-smokers and found                smokers less healthy (32). 
    PD-11        When more than one source by the same author is used, add the first main        word of the title to the author's name to differentiate which source is used.         Titles of magazine articles are enclosed in quotations, and titles of books are     underlined. 
    (Larson, "Wing" 23)
    (Larson, "Goofy" 3)
    PD-12        Interview without Lead-In
    PD-13            Interview with Lead-In (Internal Validity)
    Tyson Smith, a health teacher, shared that many students do receive                counseling. 
    PD-14        Direct quotation without Lead-In
    "Medical training and guild practices are likely to complicate education                 programs" (Gottlieb 89). 
    PD-15        Direct quotation with Lead-In (Internal Validity)
    Gottlieb, professor of medicine, stated, "Medical training and guild practices        are likely to complicate educational programs" (89). 
    PD-16        Direct Quotation of a Direct Quotation; identify who said the original comment     and use qtd. to introduce the source you found the information in.
    Samuel Johnson, author, admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary     man"
    (qtd. in Boswell 450). 
    PD-17        Block Quotation (more than 4 typed lines); The quotation is double-spaced        with no quotation marks.  The left margin is indented ten spaces.  The                documentation goes outside of the quotation, after the period.
Ralph and the other boys realize the horror of their actions:

He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too, and in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted, hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence.  (Golding 186)

Works Cited

    WC-1        List all entries alphabetically by author's last name.  If author is not listed,            record the entry alphabetically according to the first letter of the first word in        the title (ignore "a" "an" & "the" if the article introduces the title). 
    WC-2      Do not number the entries 
    WC-3      Use a hanging indent in your works cited.  Begin entry at the margin, then            indent the subsequent lines of the same entry five spaces from the left hand        margin.
    WC-4      Double space entries and each line of entry; do not leave extra spaces                between entries. 
    WC-5      If the list contains more than one source by the same author, after the first        entry in the author's name, substitute three hyphens followed by a period,            instead of repeating the author's name.  Alphabetize entries by title. 

    Sylvia, Jonathon.  Running in the Rye.  Boston: Viking, 1985.

    ---.Symbolism of the Rye.  New York: Harcourt, 1983.

Works Cited

Alm, Richard. "Weak Currency, Small Markets Leave Canadian Hockey Teams on Thin Ice." The Dallas Morning News
27 May 2003: ,/pag. SIRS Researcher. Millard North High School Lib., Omaha, NE. 7 Oct.2004

Anderson, Kurt. "Miami's New Days of Rage.: Time 10 Jan.2003:20-21.

"Bacon, Kevin." Current Biography. 2003 ed. H.W. Wilson Databases.  Millard North High School Lib., Omaha, NE.
7 Nov.2004 <>

Davis, Robert. "Hands-On Parents can keep Kids off Drugs." USA Today 22 Feb.2001:4. Gale Group Databases.
Millard North High School Lib., Omaha, NE. 19 Apr. 2003 <>

Gordon, David George. "10 Cool Things You Didn't Know About Great White Sharks." National Geographic World
June 2002: 16-19. H.W. Wilson Databases.  Millard North High School Lib., Omaha, NE. 7 Nov. 2002

Sakic, Joe. Telephone interview. 10 Dec. 2004.

Sylvia, Jonathon. Running in the Rye. Boston: Viking, 1985.

---.Symbolism of the Rye.  New York: Harcourt, 1983.