Formatting Guidelines

You are student scholars: writers and researchers who think about how their work can benefit other people, how your question might solve a problem for someone else or, perhaps, make their lives better, which is why how you choose to present your projects to me is so important. These are general formatting rules that will apply to most of your project. When in doubt, ask me. I also would like to give a shout-out to Dr. Drew Loewe for inspiring this rationale.

When reading your materials online and in print, I have preferences that make my job a bit easier. These are some basic “rules” you can use as a default for Daily Grind assignments and major projects. Of course, if I want something different, then I’ll embed those particular requests in the assignment sheet.

You should always remember that my preferences are not universal; when in doubt, ask your professor—in each class—what s/he prefers.


  • Serif font. Try Droid Serif, PT Serif, Georgia. No Bodoni. No condensed or extra-wide fonts. If you don’t know the difference between a serif font and a sans-serif font, that’s OK. The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers a good introduction. For what it’s worth, Times New Roman has been used to death. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, but its ubiquity does carry does the risk of making your document look generic.
  • 1-inch margins, with left-justified text.
  • Point size between 10-12 points; you judge what looks best with your font.
  • No double-spacing. Because I will be reading your materials online, I prefer online documents to be at 1.5, not 2.0.
  • Your name, course, date, assignment on one line at top separated with | ( < that’s called a “pipe”).

I. Moriah McCracken  |  ENGW 0000  |  5 Month 2013  |  Assignment Name

  • If you are submitting your work via GDrive, once you organize the file into the correct folder, you only need the name of the assignment as the file name along with version information. For example, Writing Project 2 Peer Review Draft versus Writing Project 2 Final. The information above should not be used as the file name in GDrive.
  • One space between sentences.
  • Headings. I love them, and, typically, I will require you to use them. Make them a bit larger than body text and bold. No other emphasis is necessary. Align headings with paragraphs (i.e., no centering).
  • No underlining.
  • No ALL CAPS.
  • Paragraphs indented.
  • Page numbers at bottom right. Make sure this font matches the other font you selected.

Please feel free to ask me questions about any of this.