If I ask you to submit a project that follows the “electronic document format rules,” please follow these rules. I may ask you to submit work in various forms–just see the assignment or activity itself.


The typical “school paper” format is too constraining, but a format that is too open looks wonky.

I’m trying to save my eyesight, take advantage of a tablet or a latop’s display of documents, have students produce reasonably attractive documents, and have enough room to write comments and make marks on your work.  Hence, these rules:


  1. Please use a 12-14-point font. Use any reasonable font that reads well on a screen.
  2. 1.2 line-spacing (so, not double-spaced, but a little more open than single-spaced).
  3. 1.0-inch top and bottom margins; 1.25-inch left and right margins (so I have room for comments and marks);
  4. Page numbers? Yes
  5. Indented paragraphs? Yes
  6. One space between sentences, not two? Yes
  7. Headings? Yes. I love headings. I often require them. Make them bold. No other emphasis is necessary. Align headings with paragraphs (i.e., no centering).

Here is an example of how you format a document for me when I ask you to follow these rules.

Note that it doesn’t have any empty headings at the bottom of pages (i.e., no headings that don’t have text under them on that same page) and it puts the Works Cited on a page by itself at the end (not every document you submit will need a Works Cited).

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