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Guidelines for Academic Papers at the STM

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Formatting Your Paper

This guide describes the accepted protocols governing submission of academic papers at the STM

Standard Format for Academic Papers at the STM

  • Title Page - All text should be centered on the page. The title of your paper should be 2.5 inches from the top edge. Do not put quotation marks around the title, and do not bold or italicize it. Capitalize all words in the title except prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. About 2 inches below the title, type the word "by" without capitalization. Then, about 2 inches further down, type your full name. Finally, about 2 inches below your name, on three separate lines, type the name of the professor, the course number and title, and the date on which you submit your paper. View a sample title page.
  • Pagination - Number pages in the center of the bottom of each page, beginning with the first page of the text. Do not number the title page.
  • Margins - One inch margins should be used on the top, the bottom, and on both sides.
  • Text Formatting - Use Times New Roman 12-point font, and left justify the main body of your text.
  • Spacing - Double-space your main text. Single-space footnotes, itemized lists, and indented block quotations. Skip one line between entries in the bibliography.
  • Abbreviations - Except in the case of versions and books of the Bible, abbreviations should generally be avoided. When referencing specific books of the Bible, use the abbreviations recommended by the Society of Biblical Literature rather than Turabian. These abbreviations, along with more detailed instructions for citing Biblical references, can be found here.
  • Spelling and Punctuation - See Turabian, Manual, 8th ed., chapters 20 and 21, pp. 281-306.
  • Inclusive Language - Language is not fixed or static but is constantly evolving and changing as society's attitudes and practices change. Be aware of the development of new forms of expression that endeavor to describe persons in non-discriminatory ways that are appropriate, respectful, and just. In accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style and generally accepted contemporary canons of scholarship, the expectation is to use bias neutral language in academic writing. In addition to gender inclusive language, conscientious effort should be made to use appropriate language with reference to race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, social status, etc.
  • Capitalization - See Turabian, Manual, 8th ed., chapter 22, pp. 312-314. If your reference is to the Roman Catholic Church, capitalize Church.
  • Quotations - See Turabian, Manual, 8th ed., chapter 25, pp. 346-357. Use block quotations whenever a quoted text runs longer than five lines of the body of the paper. Do not enclose block quotations within quotation marks.
  • Footnotes - See Turabian, Manual, 8th ed., chapter 16, pp. 155-161.  The STM requires both footnotes and a bibliography. Begin a footnote on the page on which you reference it. Footnotes should be in 10 point Times New Roman font and should be single-spaced. Each footnote should begin with a number corresponding to a superscript number assigned within the paper. The first line of each footnote, including the footnote number, should be indented one tab space; subsequent lines in the same citation should be left-justified. When citing a source for the first time, provide a full citation containing all required bibliographic information. In subsequent footnotes citing the same source, use an abbreviated form that typically includes the author’s (or editor’s) last name, a shortened title, and the page numbers. Separate each of those elements with a comma and end with a period. The term Ibid, along with the relevant page numbers, should only be used when consecutively citing the identical source. Sample footnote entries in Turabian Notes and Bibliography style can be found here.
  • Bibliographies - See Turabian, Manual, 8th ed., chapter 16, pp. 150-155. Unless otherwise instructed by your professor, a bibliography is required at the end of every paper you submit at the STM. Begin your bibliography on a blank page at the end of your paper. The first line of each entry should be left-justified, and all subsequent line(s) in the same entry should be indented one tab space. Each entry should be single-spaced, and one space should also be inserted between each entry. Sources should be listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of each author or editor. If no author or editor is given, alphabetize using the first word in the title unless the first word is an article (e.g., the, an, a). Bibliographies do not include page numbers for books; however, articles from journals do include complete page numbers. Sample bibliography entries in Turabian Notes and Bibliography style can be found here.