Style Sheet for term papers

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Style Sheet for term papers
Prof. Dr. Magnus Huber

Englische Sprachwissenschaft und Geschichte der englischen Sprache

Each piece of written work should fulfil the standards required of published texts. Objective and precise expression, correct spelling and punctuation, and a correspondence between title and content are essential. Avoid jargon, verbosity and repetitions as much as unnecessary quotations or extensive summaries. A logically arranged and accessible presentation of the topic (displaying clear connections with the sources and text(s), an awareness of existing research, and a critical position of one's own) is crucial. Personal opinion must be substantiated and marked as such. A signed declaration that no plagiarism has been committed must be included.

The subsequent rules only provide an overview of the most important and common issues. Detailed information can be found in:
Gibaldi, Joseph. 2003. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: MLA.

Standop, Ewald. 1998. Die Form der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit. 15th ed. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer.

1. All pieces of written work must be printed or typed on one side of sheets of A4 paper. Unless different rules have been announced in the courses, the length of the assessed essay, excluding table of contents and bibliography should be
Proseminar (alle Studiengänge): approx. 8 to 10 pages

Hauptseminar (L1/L2/L5): approx. 10 to 12 pages

Hauptseminar (Diplom/MA/L3): approx. 16 to 20 pages
2. The TITLE PAGE displays

- the title of the course, the name of the course teacher and the semester

- the title of the paper

- the author's name, Matrikelnummer, line of studies (Diplom/MA/L1/L2/L3/L5)

- the author's snailmail and email address.
3. A TABLE OF CONTENTS is always required. It must contain a complete list of the sections/chapters of the submitted work with their corresponding page numbers. Sections/chapters are counted using decimal arrangement (as in this guideline). All entries in the table of contents must reappear in identical form in the main body of the work.
4. PAGINATION: The first page after the table of contents to the very last page are numbered consecutively.
5. MARGINS: 4.5 cm for the left-hand margin; 1.5 cm for the right-hand margin.
6. TYPEFACES, SPACING and PARAGRAPHS: Eccentric typefaces and those that are hard to read must be avoided (this also applies to title pages and headings). Times New Roman is the preferred typeface. In the main body of the work, the text should be presented in lines of one and a half spaces distance (with font size 12); in separated quotations of more than four lines and in footnotes the text should be single-spaced (with font size 10). Indent paragraphs (even when using aligned text) or separate them with a blank line. Block quotes are indented on the left and right; new paragraphs within such quotations are indented once more.
7. QUOTATIONS are normally marked by double inverted commas and must conform exactly to their source in wording, spelling and punctuation. Omissions are indicated by [...]. Additions are also placed in square brackets; mistakes in the quoted text are marked by a subsequent [sic].
Quotations are separated from the main body of the text when they exceed four lines. In this case, no inverted commas are used. When quoting direct speech, this is marked by single inverted commas when the quotation is in double inverted commas as part of the main text, and double inverted commas in separated quotations.
Examples used for analysis (sentences, or sections of text) are separated and numbered, so that reference can be made to them in the main body of the text.
A source must be indicated for every direct quotation – even very short ones (see section 12, REFERENCING). When material is paraphrased or only its content is used, a reference is also required. Merely listing the source in the bibliography is not sufficient.
8. Qualifying statements or expansions on the main text as well as references are contained in FOOTNOTES. Footnotes are numbered consecutively and are indicated in the main text by an Arab superscript numeral, placed after punctuation marks. The footnote text itself is placed at the bottom of the page, and is preceded by a number in superscript. Footnotes have to be clearly separated from the main text, e.g. by a line or blank space.
References are indicated in short form in the main text.
9. ITALICS are used for the title of independent publications or periodicals. Foreign words and expression in the text are also marked by italics (e.g. de facto, histoire). Words and short expressions that serve as examples in linguistic publications and form part of the main text are also highlighted by italics (longer examples and complete sentences, however, are separated from the main text; see section 7, QUOTATIONS). Italics should not normally be used to emphasise a single word.
10. QUOTATION MARKS: Double inverted commas ("...") are used for quotations in the main text, titles of essays in periodicals and collections (such as Festschriften and year books) and for poems that are not published independently. Single inverted commas ('...') are employed for quotations within quotations, translations and definitions.
11. German ABBREVIATIONS and PLACE NAMES should not be used in work written in English (replace 'Hg.' with 'ed.' or 'eds.' and 'Bd.' with 'vol.', for instance). The most important English abbreviations are:

anon. anonymous

art. article

b. born

c. (ca.) circa, or around (used with approximate dates:

"c. 1796")

cf. compare (not "see"; from the Latin confer)

ch. (chap.) chapter

col. column

comp. compiler, compiled by

d. died

dict. dictionary

ed., eds. editor, editors; edition, edited by

e.g. for example

encyc. encyclopedia

et al. and others (from the Latin et alii, et aliae)

etc. and so forth

i.e. that is (from the Latin id est)

introd. introduction, introduced by

lit. literally; literature, literary

ms., mss. manuscript, manuscripts

n.p. no place of publication; no publisher

resp. respectively

sic thus in the source (in square brackets as an editorial interpolation; not followed

by an exclamation point)

st. stanza

trans. (tr.) translator, translation, translated by

vol. volume

writ. writer, written by

In cases when established English place names exist, e.g. "Munich" for München or "Vienna" for Wien, use the English names in essays written in English.


There are different referencing systems, which are treated in depth in the manuals mentioned at the start of this set of guidelines. In English Linguistics referencing, as a rule, integrates the source in the main text in short form and provides the complete information in the bibliography. This so-called short referencing provides bibliographic references by placing them in round brackets in the main text, for instance in the following forms:

Example 1: This view has been challenged (cf. Berko 1958).
Example 2: "[...]", Labov explained (1972a: 774).

13. References:

Thereferences appear at the end of the term paper on a new page and continues to be numbered consecutively. Its entries are aligned on the left. When entries are longer than one line, then the second and subsequent lines shift to the right by 1.25 cm.

Primary and secondary sources are not separated. They are arranged alphabetically by the authors' or editor(s) last names. Points to keep in mind:

(a) The last name of author(s) or editor(s) precedes their first name(s) (if there is more than one author, the first one mentioned on the title is also listed first); (b) multi-volume publications require a mentioning of the number of volumes; (c) book publications are given without page numbers, while (d) publications that form part of collections or appear in periodicals require page numbers.

= an independent (i.e. book) publication dedicated to one topic

McCrum, Robert, et al. 1992. The Story of English. 2nd rev. ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books [11987].

Schneider, Edgar W., ed. 1996. Focus on the USA. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


When a publication has two or three authors or publishers, list all in the sequence indicated in the publication. If there are more than three, name the first and add the abbreviation 'et. al'. When the publication has two places of publication, list both. If it has more than two, list the first two and add the abbreviation 'et. al'.

Dittmar, Norbert, and Peter Schlobinski, eds. 1988. The Sociolinguistics of Urban Vernaculars: Case Studies and Their Evaluation. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Labov, William. 1972a. "Negative attraction and negative concord in English grammar." Language 48: 773-818.

Labov, William. 1972b. Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

If any other than the first edition of a book is used or quoted, this needs to be indicated immediately after the title of the publication:

Rev. ed. Revised edition

Abr. ed. Abridged edition

2nd ed. second edition (or 3rd ed., 4th ed., etc. respectively)

McCrum, Robert, et al. 1992. The Story of English. 2nd rev. ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books [11987].

If a merely reprinted edition is used, the year of the first edition is used. The book in the following example was published in 2000 and reprinted or reissued in 2001.

Allen, Graham. 2000. Intertextuality. The New Critical Idiom. London and New York: Routledge.


Essays are normally quoted like book publications. Their title, however, is not italicised or underlined, but put into double quotation marks. The bibliographic information consists of the title of the periodical in italics or underlined, the volume and number of the issue, year of publication (with month, if known), and the exact page numbers of the essay.

Berko, Jean. 1958. "The child's learning of English morphology." Word 14: 150-77.

Reviews are referenced like essays, only the abbreviation 'Rev. of' (= review of) is added. If the reviewed work has been re-edited or translated or if it is a film or theatrical performance, this also must be indicated.

Fassett, Deanna L. 2001. Rev. of When Children Don't Learn: Student Failure and the Culture of Teaching, by B. M. Franklin. Communication Education 50: 83-85.


An essay that has appeared in a collection of essays that is also listed in the bibliography:

(the respective collections of essays can be found under 13.2)

Pederson, Lee. 1996. "Piney Woods Southern." In Edgar W. Schneider, ed. 1996:13-24.

An essay that has appeared in a collection that is not listed in the bibliography:

Guy, Gregory R. 1993. "The quantitative analysis of linguistic variation." In Dennis R. Preston, ed. American Dialect Research. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 223-50.


Kroch, Anthony. 1992. "Syntactic Change." In William Bright, ed. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, vol. 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 111-14.


With translated publications, the name of the translator (and, if applicable also that of the editor) must be given. Use the abbreviation 'Trans.'.

Esquivel, Laura. 1992. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. Trans. Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen. New York: Doubleday.

The title of an unpublished work is given in inverted commas, not in italics or underlining. Add 'MA thesis' for Masters' work or 'PhD thesis' for doctoral theses. Give the name of the institution and the year when the thesis or dissertation was accepted.

Boyle, Anthony T. 1983. "The Epistemological Evolution of Renaissance Utopian Literature, 1516-1657." PhD thesis. New York University.

Anonymous books, poems, essays, reviews, internet pages, etc. are listed alphabetically according to their titles (ignore A, An or The when ordering them). The remaining elements follow the usual rules.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

"The Wanderer." Trans. E. T. Donaldson. 2000. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. Eds. M. H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt. New York and London: Norton. 99-102.


Electronic texts lack the stability of printed ones. Therefore references to them require more information: 1) name of the author; 2) title of the document; 3) information on printed versions (if applicable); 4) information about the electronic publication; 5) information on accessing the site.

Information concerning accessing the site: Two pieces of information concering time are normally required. The usual date of publication of the electronic text and the exact date of accessing it. Furthermore the complete network address or URL (uniform resource locator) of the respective page must be given in pointed brackets; if you need to divide it onto two or more lines, break up the information after slashes and do not use hyphens. Download or print electronic texte that you intend to use in oder to be able to verify them, since internet pages occasionally disappear.
Hall, Cailey. "Jane Austen's Pride following." 2004. Princeton, New York. 11 May 2004 .

Mina, Antonio. "'Silent Woman' Ponders Gender at Shakespeare Theatre." The Hoya. 31 Jan. 2003. Georgetown University's Newspaper of Record Since 1920. 11 May 2004 .

"Eighteenth Century to 1784." Romantic Chronology. Ed. Laura Mandell and Alan Liu. 1999.

University of California, Santa Barbara. 16 May 2004 .
'Path': If the address is too long or too complicated, you can indicate instead the way to access it. In this case, name the address of the homepage or search engine and add 'Path' followed by a colon behind the pointed bracket. Then indicate the steps to the required page, using a semicolon after each link:

Galchinsky, Michael. "Women's Poetry and Religion in Victorian England: Jewish Identity and Christian Culture." Victorian Studies 45.3 (2003): 551. Literature Online. 16 May 2004 <>. Path: Criticism & Reference; Keyword: Victorian England.

Robinson, Mary. "Jasper." The Poetical Works. Vol. III. 1806. 216-23. Literature Online. 16 May 2004 <>. Path: Texts; Title Keyword: Jasper, Author: Robinson.

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