(How to present your essay)

Who cares what my essay looks like?
It may seem unfair, it may seem arbitrary, it may even seem as if your teachers are missing the point, and, yes, you may be the most brilliant student Pratt has ever had the honor to educate, but if you present your essays on crumpled paper in green ink with hard- to-read corrections without page numbers, your grade is going to suffer. Why? Your marvelous ideas might simply get lost in the mess. We know that you've spent HOURS working on the essay, you've drunk way too much soda, and it's probably due in exactly 17 minutes, BUT you can't compromise your essay now! Writing an essay is a long and sometimes arduous process - but the final product should reflect that in the ideas, not visually!

If you want your work to be taken seriously, make it look serious. The more professional the essay looks, the easier it is to read and the easier it is for your professor to work on. Also, remember that if you're handing an essay in - the rest of the class is too! Help your teachers out - the easier it is for them to work on your paper, the better it will be for you! Also remember that some teachers simply will not accept work that is not presented "perfectly". This is their prerogative.

So, whatever your motivation: you want to make the paper look good, you want the paper to be taken seriously, or even if you just want the paper to be accepted and it won't be otherwise, use the guidelines below to present a beautiful, error-free, paper. (One last note though - just because it looks great, doesn't mean the content is good - but that's what the rest of this website is for...) (And be sure to recycle those soda cans...)

A note to thesis students. A thesis is a little different than a mere essay. You should check with your thesis advisor for instructions on how to format a whole thesis. Please do not use this guide for that purpose.

  • To type or not to type

  • Typeface

  • Citation, long quotes & diagrams etc.
  • Paper
  • Margins
  • Footnotes
  • Ink/print quality
  • Titles
  • Endnotes

  • Double-spacing
  • Biliography

  • Page numbering

  • Proofreading

  • Paperclips

  • Where your name should go...
  • Corrections

  • Folders

  • Cover pages

  • Go to Kandinsky's Spirituality or The Influential Environment to see complete, formatted papers.

    Documenting citation and references (footnotes etc.)