Style sheet for papers in linguistics

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Course title




Matriculation number

Study code (Studienkennzahl)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction iv

2. Preliminaries iv

2.1. Page format iv

2.2. Spelling iv

2.3. Title page v

2.4. Table of contents v

2.5. Stylesheets & Templates v

3. Features of the actual paper v

3.1. Paragraphing v

3.2. Sectioning vi

3.3. Citing and quoting vi

3.4. Footnotes viii

3.5. Punctuation, font conventions viii

3.6. Commonly used abbreviations ix

3.7. Tables and figures x

3.8. Plagiarism x

4. Bibliography and references x

4.1. Books x

4.2. Articles xii

4.2.1. Articles in books xii

4.2.2. Articles in journals xii

4.3. Internet and electronic resources xiii

5. Conclusion xiii

Bibliography xv

Appendix xv

  1. Introduction

This style sheet1 is intended to help you to write and layout a paper in linguistics. It will show you what is required of you as far as formatting, sectioning, quoting and references are concerned. In fact, with regard to formatting, this document adheres to the criteria mentioned, and may be used as a template. Please be sure to check with your lecturer if you have any questions.
  1. Preliminaries

    1. Page format

Papers should be on Din-A-4 paper with printing on one side only. Do not make your margins too large, left and right margins should be 2 to 3 cm. If your work is going to be bound (e.g. for a thesis or dissertation), be sure to make the left margin large enough to allow for binding (approx. 4 cm). To make the paper easier to read and correct, use a line spacing of 1,5 or 2 for the main body of the text (this will depend on the individual lecturer's requirements). However, footnotes, long quotations and the references are single spaced. With the exception of tables, the main body of the text should be left justified or fully justified (Blocksatz). Chose a common, normal type font such as Times New Roman, font size 12. Footnotes should be in a size 10 font. Avoid sans-serif fonts2 for the text body. Finally, all pages should be consecutively numbered (1,2,3...), beginning with the page which carries the Introduction (i.e. not counting the Title Page or the Table of Contents page). Pages before this should be numbered with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv...), if there are more than two or three pages. The sections of the paper should be arranged in the following order: table of contents, main text, references (bibliography), appendix (if applicable).
    1. Spelling

Your paper can be written in British or American standard English. However, once you have made your choice, stick to it and be consistent. If your computer has a spell-checker, set it for either British or American English, and use it. You can find this feature under ‘Extras’ – ‘ Sprache bestimmen’ in older versions of MS Word, or in the bar at the bottom of the window in newer versions. Be sure to proofread your paper carefully, as the spellchecker will not always catch all your errors. If you should discover any errors after the final printing, correct them neatly in ink.
    1. Title page

The title page contains basic information about the (pro)seminar (title of the course, semester (e.g. SS 2011) and name of the lecturer) as well as your name, matriculation number and study code (Studienkennzahl). The title of the paper is often printed in a large font size (30-36) and may be fully centered.
    1. Table of contents

This page should carry the title ‘Table of contents’ at the top. Leave a few lines and then begin to list the contents: section titles on the left, the pages on which the sections begin on the right. (See the Table of contents page of these notes for an example.) The references (‘bibliography’ or ‘sources cited’) and any appendices should also be included in the table of contents.
    1. Stylesheets & Templates

Working with the feature "Formatvorlagen" in MS Word can be time-consuming at first, but is recommendable, as it will save you a lot of work if you want to change any formatting details once you have already written most of the text. It will also allow you to automatically generate tables of contents, tables of reference, etc.
  1. Features of the actual paper

    1. Paragraphing

In general, you should follow the rule of ‘one idea, one paragraph.’ Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence, which summarizes the main point or idea that will be treated in the paragraph. Try to logically link one paragraph to the next. Avoid very short paragraphs or paragraphs of only one sentence.

There are two methods of indicating a new paragraph. In the first version, the first line of every new paragraph is indented to mark it visually, as below. This can be set under the paragraph feature (Format – Absatz – Einzug) in programs like MS Word.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

The second possibility is to leave a space after each paragraph, which should be 6 pt. or larger. This can also be set in the formatting menu (Format – Absatz).

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

    1. Sectioning

Your work should be divided into clearly marked sections in order to make the organization and structure clear to your reader. Each section should have a numbered heading, beginning with 1. (usually the introduction). Each section can then have sub-sections, which should be numbered (1.1, 1.2, etc.). You can even make sub-sub-sections if necessary. These are then numbered 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, etc. However, only make these if there is more than one sub-sub-section per sub-section. Each sub-section focuses on a specific aspect of the topic indicated by the section title.
    1. Citing and quoting

When you use someone else’s ideas in your text, you must indicate the source - even when you are paraphrasing that person's work in your own words. However, you do not give all the details on this source in the body text, as these can be found in the reference section at the end of your paper. You normally give three pieces of information: Author’s last name, year of publication, and page number. This information appears within the body text in brackets; e.g. (Smith 2001: 34). If the author’s name appears in the running text, there is no need to repeat it: Miller (1992: 334-5).

Citations of books or articles by more than one author take the form (Blank & Jones 2002: 13), (Müller, Meier & Schmidt 2003: 13). For works with more than three authors, the name of the first author plus ‘et al.’ is used (Adamson et al. 1985: 45). When a citation refers to a work consisting of more than one volume, the form (1976, 1: 210) is used. Reprint editions are cited as follows: (Atwood [1998]: 70) or, if it is important that the original date of publication is included in the text: (Gablentz 1972 [1998]: 70). Use initials or first names (Baker, A. 1988: 135) only when you need to distinguish two or more authors with identical last names, provided they are referred to in the list of references.

If possible, try to avoid citing titles indirectly, i.e. via another source containing this citation. If required, these citations take the form (Britton 1970: 163 quoted in (or: referred to in) Singleton 1999: 47). In this case, both sources should be contained in the list of references.

Verbatim (i.e. word-for-word) quotations can be integrated in two basic formats: If the quote is quite short (less than approx. 10 words/a single sentence), it is included in the main body of the text and enclosed within double quotation marks, e.g.:

Globally, a precise definition of who is or is not bilingual is “essentially elusive and ultimately impossible” (Baker 2001: 15).

In the popular view, bilingualism is often held to mean the ability to speak two languages perfectly. This interpretation is mirrored by Bloomfield, who defines bilingualism as “the native-like control of two languages” (1933: n.p.; cited in Baker 2001: 6).

If the quote is longer, it is presented as a separate paragraph, with each line indented about 2 cm from the left margin and the font 1 pt smaller than usual; the line spacing for the quote is single, and the quote is not enclosed in quotation marks, e.g.:

William James describes this very aptly:

We are practical beings, each of us, with limited functions and duties to perform. Each is bound to feel intensely the importance of his own duties and the significance of the situations that call these forth. But this feeling is in each of us a vital secret, for sympathy with which we vainly look to others (1972: 52)

All quotations should follow the original text exactly – in wording, spelling and punctuation. Any additions that you make should be indicated by square brackets [like this]. Indicate omissions by ellipsis points with brackets: […], e.g.:

Minsky (1955: 666) states that “Podborsky’s hostility to modern linguistic theory is […] an

unfounded, personal opinion”.

“[M]odern linguistics has no direction whatsoever” according to Podborsky (1994: 13).

If you use quotations from languages other than English and German in the text, give the quote in the original language first and enclose the translation in square brackets; or, if the quote is longer, give your translation in brackets and add (translation: mine).

    1. Footnotes

In general, avoid footnotes as much as possible. Most relevant information can be included in the body text, and often information that you cannot include is not worth putting in. Footnotes should not be used to give sources, as these are cited in the running text (see above). Footnotes should only be used to give additional information that does not fit in the body text. Number your footnotes serially throughout the text (most text software does this automatically).
    1. Punctuation, font conventions

Use “double quotation marks” for direct quotations; use ‘single quotation’ marks for ‘qualified’ words or phrases, or for quotations within quotations. Quotation marks go inside punctuation when only part of a sentence is quoted or when the title of an article, a contribution to a book, a poem etc. is quoted They are placed outside punctuation when complete sentences are cited.

Use italics if you cite a letter, word, phrase, or sentence as a linguistic example or as the object of discussion; do not use quotation marks for this purpose. Cited forms in a foreign language should be followed at least at first occurrence by a gloss in single quotation marks.

E.g.: Lat. ovis ‘sheep’, equus ‘horse’, and canis ‘dog’ are nouns.

If you want to indicate emphasis, do this linguistically wherever possible, rather than by font. If it has to be done by font, please do not use italics but bold type. If you do this within a quotation, be sure to indicate that you placed the emphasis, not the original author (Smith 2001: 42; emphasis mine).

Phonetic transcription should be placed between square brackets [ ] in IPA symbols. Phonemic examples should be placed between slashes / /; e.g.:

There are two allophones of the English phoneme / λ /: [λ] and [∀].

If your computer does not have IPA fonts, insert special (e.g. phonetic or phonemic) symbols and other special characters in the copy in ink. Make sure you draw diacritics (accent marks such as the tilde or Umlaut) over and under the letters in the exact position they are meant to occupy. If you leave blank space for inserting symbols by hand, it is better to leave more space than required rather than to leave too little.

    1. Commonly used abbreviations

Avoid using too many abbreviations, as they often pose severe problems for readers not completely familiar with the language of a text. Where more than one abbreviation is acceptable, select one and use it consistently throughout the text. In general, abbreviations should not be used except when prefixed to linguistic forms cited; thus “the meaning of OE guma” is acceptable but “the meaning of guma in OE” is not. The latter must be rendered as “the meaning of guma in Old English”. Abbreviations ending in a small letter have a full stop following them (OFr., Gk., Lat.), those ending in a capital letter do not (MHG, OCS, OE).

There are several abbreviations which are often found in body texts. These include:

e.g. ‘for example’
Any section can have sub-sections (e.g. 1.1.).

i.e. Lat. id est, ‘that is, this means’

’Begin your list of references on a new page (i.e. the one after your conclusion).’

cf. Lat. confer, ‘compare’, or ‘see also’

’For a detailed account of the experiment, cf. Baker, 2000’

sic Lat. ‘thus’, ‘it is really written this way’. Use this in quotes with surprises or errors in them. Put it in angle brackets.

‘The latest school job page advertises “a wide rnage [sic] of 6th form courses”
    1. Tables and figures

If you include tables in your paper, label them ‘Table’, and give them a number and a caption (e.g. Table 2.1.: Success rates in the naming task by age). Other material such as photographs, images, charts, and line-drawings should be labeled ‘Figure’ and be properly numbered and captioned as well. Tables and figures are usually numbered with the number of the main section, and then the number of the table in the chapter (e.g. Table 2.1, Table 3.4, etc.). Take care to refer to all examples, tables and figures in the text. A list of tables and a list of figures can be included either after the table of contents (begin a new page for each), or in the reference section.
    1. Plagiarism

Plagiarism (i.e. using someone else’s ideas or words without acknowledging the source, passing them off as your own) is a serious academic offense. It is important that you respect the work of others, and adhere to the academic code of conduct. It should always be clear to your reader where an idea that you took from another source begins. If you are in doubt, ask your lecturer.
  1. Bibliography and references

The references at the end of your paper give full citation details of the literature you have used and cited in your text. It is important to make sure you give all the necessary information, so your reader can see where you found your information, and find the original source if they wish to. The main point is to include all the relevant information, and to be consistent in the form of citation.

Always begin your list of references on a new page (i.e. the one directly after your conclusion). The references are always ordered first alphabetically, and second chronologically if there is more than one work by the same author.

    1. Books

You must give five pieces of information: Author, Year of publication, Title, Place of publication, and Publisher. The author’s last name is always the first piece of information. The title must be written in italics. The line spacing is single. In linguistics papers, the information is presented as follows:

Author’s last name, Author’s first name or initial3. Year. Title. Subtitle. (edition if applicable; i.e. if it is a second or subsequent edition). Place of publication: Publisher.

Aitchison, Jean. 2003. Words in the mind. (3rd edition). Oxford: Blackwell.

If someone has published more than one work in one year, order the books alphabetically according to title and add a letter to the year, starting with ‘a’.

Said, E. 1994a. Culture and Imperialism. London: Vintage.

Said, E. 1994b. Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures. New York: Pantheon Books.

In this case, you should cite these references accordingly, i.e. as (Said 1994a) and (Said 1994b), in your paper. A book by more than one author is cited like this:

Herdina, P. and U. Jessner. 2002. A Dynamic Model of Multilingualism. Perspectives of Change in Psycholinguistics. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Nihilani, P., R. Tongue and P. Hosali. 1979. Indian and British English. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Titles in languages other than English or German should be translated into the language of the text following the original title and be placed within square brackets.

Amossy, Ruth. 2000. L’argumentation dans le discours politique. [Argumentation in Political Discourse]. Paris: Nathan.

A translated work

Gombert, Jean-Émile. 1992. Metalinguistic Development. Trans. Tim Pownall. London ( Harvester Wheatsheaf.

A collection, anthology, or compilation

Bloom, Harold (ed.) 1999. Langston Hughes: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide. Broomall: Chelsea House.

An introduction, preface, foreword, epilogue, or afterword

Wei, Li. 2000. “Dimensions of Bilingualism.” Introduction. The Biligualism Reader. Wei, Li (ed.). London: Routledge. pp 3-25.

Elliott, Emory. 1990. Afterword. The Jungle. Sinclair, Upton. New York: Signet, pp.


A reprinted or republished book

Atwood, Margaret. 1998. Surfacing. 1972. New York: Doubleday.

    1. Articles

      1. Articles in books

List the following information in the following order:

Author. (Year) “Title or Article/Essay”. In: Editor (ed.) Book Title. Book Subtitle. Place of publication: Publisher, Page/s.

Watson, Ian. 1991. “Phonological processing in two languages.” In Bialystok, Ellen (ed.) Language Processing in Bilingual Children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 25-48.

Cenoz, J. 2000. “Research on multilingual acquisition.” In Cenoz, J. and U. Jessner (eds.) English in Europe: The Acquisition of a Third Language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 39-53.

      1. Articles in journals

List the following information in the following order:

Author. Year. “Title”. Journal/Periodical Issue number , Page/s.

Wolman, R.N. and E.N. Barker. “A developmental study of word definitions.” Journal of Genetic Psychology 107 (1), 159-166.

For articles from periodicals or newspapers, give the issue date or number

Thomas, Evan. 2002. “Rumsfeld’s War.” Newsweek 16-23 Sept. 2002, 30-36.

Amelar, Sarah. 1998. “Restoration on 42nd Street.” Architecture Mar. 1998, 146-50.

Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. 1994. “What’s in a Movie Soundtrack? Catchy Tunes and Big

Business.” Wall Street Journal 1 Apr. 1994, eastern ed., B1.

For articles by multiple authors, with foreign-language titles, etc., refer to the section of referencing books.

    1. Internet and electronic resources

Bibliographic listings of electronic sources follow the format for print sources. The basic formats for citing electronic sources are:

Author. “Title of document”. Title of complete work [if applicable]. Version or File number [if applicable]. (Edition or revision [if applicable]). Date of document or last update [if different from date of access]. Page numbers or the number of paragraphs or of other numbered sections of the material (if any). Protocol and address, access path, or directories (date of access).

Burka, Lauren P. 1993. “A hypertext history of multi-user dimensions”. MUD history. lpb/muddex/essay (2 Aug. 1996).

Reiterer, Susanne. 2002. “The neurocognition of second language acquisition: the influence of proficiency level on cortical brain activation patterns”. VIEWS 11(1&2), 27-52. (15 January 2003).

While the internet is a very valuable research tool, you should still use caution when using sources from the WWW. Always consider who has put the information online, and whether or not this source is reputable enough to be trusted. Many academic journals, for instance, are published in electronic form, and would therefore be considered a legitimate source.

This caution is especially important with sources like Wikipedia. Many students like to use online Encyclopedias, especially Wikipedia, to help them in their research. They can indeed be a very useful tool, especially to get an overview of a topic, and for the references included at the bottom of each article. For oral presentations, you may include some information from this source. However, as Wikipedia’s content can be edited by anyone, and there is no guaranteed quality control, you should not use it as a source in an academic paper.
  1. Conclusion

Overall, there are two important things to keep in mind when writing academic paper. First, be fair, don’t plagiarize. Be sure to credit your sources and list all the necessary information. Secondly, be consistent. Once you chose one way of doing things (quoting, formatting, etc.), stick to it throughout the paper. If you are not sure how a paper for a particular course should be set out or if you have any further questions, ask the lecturer in charge.


In a paper, this is where your bibliography should go. See above for how to format your reference section. If applicable, this section would be followed by an


The appendix is used to include additional material, such as a questionnaire you used in your research, transcripts of interviews, etc. Your appendices should be numbered with upper-case letters of the alphabet (A, B, C…)

1 This document is based on a style sheet originally compiled at the University of Vienna.

2 Serif type fonts like Times New Roman have cross-strokes that adorn the line ends. These serve to guide the eye along the line and make flow texts easier to read. Sans-serif fonts like Arial or Verdana do not have these strokes and are therefore better suited to titles rather than body text.

3 You may choose to use either, but choose one approach and use it consistently.

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