Start with a thesis statement.  It is the ROADMAP to your paper.

A good thesis statement is not simply an observation, a question or a promise.  It includes topic, a precise opinion and reasoning.

Here is a thesis statement generator helper.


Your thesis statement has three main points: your three reasons

Those three reasons need to be structured in the same way.


  • Double space your paper.
  • Use Times New Roman font size 12.
  • Use only one space after periods.
  • 1 inch margins on all sides.
  • Use the tab key to indent 1/2 inch at the beginning of every paragraph.
  • A header with consecutive page numbers should be created in the top right-hand corner.  It should include last name before page number.
  • Do not create a separate title page.
  • For the first page of your essay, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date on separate lines with double spacing between them.
  • Include a title for your essay centered below that.

Some Instructions

Choose insert page number and choose the one with 1/2 in the top right hand corner.  Some teachers will not want a page number included on the first page.  If not, click the option for different header that appears when you create the header.  Simply type your last name in front of the number and it will duplicate it on each page.

Choose double spacing for your entire essay.


Purdue Owl Rules for Works Cited Page

Basic rules

  • Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
  • Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
  • Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
  • List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50. Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages.
  • For every entry, you must determine the Medium of Publication. Most entries will likely be listed as Print or Web sources, but other possibilities may include Film, CD-ROM, or DVD.
  • Writers are required to provide URLs for Web entries. "Many scholarly databases use a DOI (digital object identifier). Use a DOI in your citation if you can; otherwise use a URL. Delete “http://” from URLs. The DOI or URL is usually the last element in a citation and should be followed by a period."(Purdue Owl)
    For long URLs, break lines only at slashes.
  • If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should type the online database name in italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database name.
  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
  • New to MLA 2009: Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)
  • Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name.
  • MIN FORMAT FOR ONLINE ITEM:       Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).


Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the Web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, medium of publication, and the date of access. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.


Here is an example of an easy bib citation
gone wrong

Loaded on May 19, 2014 by Derek Gilna published in Prison Legal          News May, 2014, page 48 Filed under: Statistics/Trends, Overcrowding. Location: . “ Prison Legal News .” Report: Increase in Federal Prison Population, Overcrowding | Prison Legal News, Derek Gilna, May 2014, Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.

EASY BIB assumed the author's name was Loaded on May 19, 2014 by Derek Gilna

Gilna, Derek. “Report: Increase in Federal Prison Population, Overcrowding.” Prison Legal News, Prison Legal News, 19 May 2014, Accessed 26 Apr. 2017.

You only get one chance to make a first impression!!!!

1. Open with an attention grabber.

   Things you could start with:

   An intriguing example

   A thought -provoking question

   An Anecdote

   Startling information - a statistic, etc.

   A quote

2. Make sure your thesis statement is toward the end of your intro.  Give the reader the roadmap to your paper.



First time citations need to be in-text citations.  Future citations will be parenthetical or end-text citations.

  • Book with author example: Works cited page:   

Hile, Kevin. Animal Rights. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004.   



In Kevin Hile's book Animal Rights, he discusses the           importance of protecting animals (page number).   

END TEXT CITATION:In future citations, you will just use the end text citation:     

The importance of protecting animals is evidenced by the cases of abuse reported each year (Hile, page number).

  • Article from the internet with NO Author:      

"College Education." ProConorg Headlines. ProConorg, n.d. Web.     

     13 Apr. 2015.


In's article "College Education" it is recommended that every student get a college degree.

End-text citation:  

A college degree is beneficial to obtain a high paying job ("College Education").

Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.

Follow Purdue Owl's recommendation.


Restate the main ideas of your paper, but not just as a summary.  Try to restate them in such a way as to answer the question, "So what?"!

Provide a challenge to the audience.

Things Not To Do:

  1. State the thesis for the first time or just rephrase it.
  2. Introduce a new idea.
  3. Changing the style of the paper.
  4. Beginning with "In conclusion" or a catchphrase like that.

Possible Things To Do:

  1. Ask a question that makes the reader think beyond the paper.
  2. End with a quote.
  3. Paint a picture that keeps the reader thinking.
  4. Challenge the reader to take some action.