To see what you already know about formatting terms, match the term with its correct definition:
title: the name of a paragraph (or longer piece of
margin: empty space around the paragraph
indentation: a one-inch space that marks the beginning of a new paragraph
top line: location of the title
blank line: a line with no writing on it
header: identifying information located at the top of the page
footer: organizing information located at the bottom of the page
centered: words located in the middle or center of a line, (not left or right aligned)
To see if you know how to format a paragraph, choose the standard formatting options.
The title of the paragraph goes on line:
A subtitle of the paragraph goes on
The first sentence of the paragraph begins on
The first sentence of the paragraph
at the left margin line
in the center
one inch from the left margin line
one inch from the right margin line
The left margin should be _____ from the left edge of the paper:
a few spaces
The right margin should be ______ from the right
edge of the paper.
a few spaces
The top margin should usually be at least _______
from the top edge of the paper.
a few spaces
The bottom margin should usually be at least
_______ from the bottom edge of the paper.
a few spaces
The correct punctuation for a title
a period (.)
a comma (,)
a colon (:)
The only time a title normally has punctuation is
when it _____.
is a sentence
has a subtitle
is more than five words
A title may have include punctuation if it
is a quotation of someone's words
shows strong emotion
is required by a bibliography style sheet
all of the above
Some important information to include in the header
of a paper is:
Student name, Date, Class, Assignment or Exercise, Page #
Title, Subtitle, Chapter, Page #
Professor's Name, Course Title, Level, Semester #
Anything I want
Choose the best title for these
(should have three - five short paragraphs, easy - int - adv)
Photos of job interview candidates--properly & improperly dressed.
Ask question: Who is more likely to get the job?
Does it matter how you dress?
Students often carry over writing habits from their personal lives. They believe
that writing is just putting thoughts and feelings into words, which is what we do
when we write letters to our friends, jot down a grocery list or take quick notes.
Students are sometimes surprised to find that academic and
business writing require
certain standards (accepted expectations). Why are standards important? Let's find out:
Preview paragraphs with/without correct
Which paragraph do you think will receive the higher grade? Why?
Learning Activity #1
Preview this paper with correct paragraph format. Point your cursor over each of the
numbered areas to see the vocabulary used to talk about paragraph format:
title, indentation, margin, top line, blank line, corner,
(upper-lower), (left-right), (top-bottom)
Learning Activity #2
Now that you've seen what correct paragraph format looks like, let's learn the standards for correct formatting that are expected in the academic and business worlds.
There are three important things to learn about correct
paragraph format: title, indentation and
Here are the "rules" or standards for correct paragraph format. (show with animation?) As you hear each rule, notice the cursor pointing to each area. (OnCue)
On standard college-ruled notebook paper, the left margin line is a red line on the front of the paper. In the left margin area, you will have two or three "holes" which allow you to put your assignments into a notebook, binder or folder. The holes should always be on the left side of the paper, as this indicates the "front" of the paper. Sometimes, students who are left-handed (or whose language is written from right to left) make the mistake of placing the holes on the right side of the paper. They don't notice until they try to put their papers into their folders that the paragraphs are facing the wrong way! When the holes are on the right side, you are writing on the "back" of the paper. Remember, English is written from left to right! The right margin line is also a red line but printed on the reverse (back) side of the paper, so you have to "remember" to stop at the right margin line. It is less noticeable, but the right margin line is also very important because it tells you where to stop writing.
On standard notebook paper, the top margin is usually the white space at the top of the page. It is about one and one-half inches. The extra one-half inch is so the writer can include a header. In college writing, the header includes identifying information that is important for both the professor and the student. A header usually contains the student's name and complete date in the upper right hand corner. In the upper left-hand corner, the header usually contains a description of the assignment and/or the page of the textbook. Sometimes, it is helpful to keep track of the type of assignment, (such as homework, classwork or test) or version (first draft, revision, final). It's a good idea to ask your professor what information should be included in the header of your papers.
Professors may have different styles of how they want your papers to look. On standard notebook paper, the bottom margin is usually only one-half inch. This is to balance the extra one-half inch at the top and also to allow you to write more information on one page. Be sure to ask whether it's ok to write on the back of the same page, or whether you should start on a new piece of paper if you have a long paragraph. The most important thing to remember about the bottom margin is never write below the bottom line. This makes your paper look too crowded.
It helps to think of your paragraph format as a "picture frame" around your paragraph. The correct format, like a beautiful picture frame, "shows off" your writing by making it attractive for others to read. (Include graphic)
It is a general rule to also use one-inch top and bottom margins when you use a word processing program. Once you set your margins in the word processor, the program will automatically adjust your sentences to fit within the margins. The only thing you have to remember is to continue typing your sentences until the end of your paragraph. You press the "Enter" key at the end of each paragraph, not at the end of each line or sentence.
Learning Activity #3
Here is the paragraph you previewed earlier in this lesson. (graphics)
Can you identify # problems with the paragraph format? (matching item)
Learning Activity #4
A paragraph (or longer piece of writing) usually has a title, which is its name.
The title gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is about (topic) and
should, ideally, spark the reader's interest to read the paragraph.
Rules for Writing Titles:
- a direct quotation of another person's words
- a direct quotation of the title of another article (a newspaper or magazine article)
- a statement of strong emotion (Never Give Up Your Dream!)
- formatted in a bibliography list (as required by a style sheet)
Fill in the blanks with the correct term (or click/drag). (definitions)
Multiple choice questions to choose the correct formatting options. (margins, etc.)
Choose the best title for these paragraphs.
What is wrong with each of these titles? (matching)