The UVic Writer's Guide
Reading a messy essay is not a pleasant task. A professor wading
through a massive pile of papers may grow impatient with illegible
work. Make sure of the following:
- Your essay is visually appealing
- The type is large enough and dark enough
- There are sufficient spaces between the lines
If you are handing in a written assignment, do not fill it with
scribbled out words or indecipherable squiggles. Handwriting looks
deceptively readable to its writer. Make it easy for your instructor
to enjoy reading your work, and you will likely get a better mark.
Directions for presentation of a standard expository essay:
- Use white, 8 1/2 X 11 paper.
- Typing is always preferable and usually required. If you have
to write, use lined paper.
- Use only one side of the paper.
- Double-space, so your instructor can both read and criticize your
- Leave margins of at least one inch on the top, bottom and sides
of the page.
- Page numbers should be placed in the upper right hand corner.
Make sure that all pages are numbered. Title pages are not numbered.
Page 1 is the first page of the essay proper, and must be numbered.
- Do not hand in loose pages; always bind them together, either
with a staple or a folder. If you use a folder, be sure that the
whole of the written text is clearly visible. Do not use folders
that will substantially increase the bulk of the pile your professor
has to carry home.
- A title page is not necessary for research papers but may be used if desired. Alternatively, you may enter your
name, instructor and course number, and the date at the tope left
margin of the first page (double-spacing after your name and the
course number). Enter the title two spaces below the date and
double-space it if it extends more than one line. (See the student essay for an example of how this looks. .)
Topics About Essays
Table of Contents
Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria,
This page updated May 12, 1995