Pinyin should be separated into words: Shēngcún Kōngjiān 生存空间,
Don’t forget that there is almost always a space after a period,
comma or colon (except in numbers and Internet addresses)
Watch verb tenses regarding things you report. If an event or
survey took place in the past, you should probably use the past tense,
perhaps with the past perfect tense to emphasize that a period of time was
involved in creating the statistic. E.g., “A 1999 survey showed
that divorce had increased to over 25% in Shanghai.”
Policies initiated in the past with continuing results might also use past
perfect. “Since 1949, the new leadership has established its authority,
and new policies have introduced farmers to better ways to use natural
Block quotes should have more than one sentence (our textbook says
“more than four lines”). In general, block quotations should also be made
up of complete sentences (but there are exceptions). Block quotations do
not need extra blank lines before or after them.
Especially watch the verb tense of your Topic Sentence in each
paragraph. What does your paragraph attempt to prove? If it is a general
truth, use the simple present tense (but you better have facts to show
that it is a general truth). “Costs (always) increase as…” If your facts
point to a trend or measurable result, use present continuous or present
perfect. “Costs are becoming higher…” “Costs have become higher…” Since it
is very difficult to prove that something “always” happens in a certain
way, avoid the simple present tense.
conclusion should be more substantial than it is in a normal essay.
You have done some research, and that research should convince you (and
hopefully the reader) of something. What is it? What did the research
point to? Try to include more than one sentence that evaluates or explains
your implication, instead of sentences that merely summarize.
(ref?) means that I think this point needs documentation.
However, if you think it is “common knowledge” then just leave it alone.
In some cases, I have written this because the sentence does not flow
logically with the rest of your paragraph. A unified paragraph should not
have several sentences about one thing and then one sentence “tacked on”
with a similar, undocumented thought. If you have two ideas that support
your topic sentence (which is GOOD), then each idea needs at least two
sentences, and you should use an appropriate transition (also, in
addition, furthermore, etc.).
Using the ellipsis (three periods) can be tricky. Never start a
sentence or a quote with an ellipsis, even if you have left out the first
part of a quote. Quotations rarely end with an ellipsis, unless you are
trying to emphasize that the author continued talking about this subject
(this would end with four periods, and never include a comma or other
punctuation before the ellipsis). The reader will assume you are only
quoting part of what the author said, and thus he said things before and
after what you quote. The ellipsis is mainly used to show that something
is left out WITHIN what you are quoting.
Bibliography can be single spaced, but keep it 12-point type like
the rest of your paper. It also needs a hanging indent. Articles
(magazine, newspaper, or Internet) should follow the format for One
Section of a Book Written by Several Authors (combined with A Book
by a Chinese Author if needed). Things from Chinese sources must have
Articles taken from websites come from somewhere and someone wrote them,
at some time (a date or month—or at least a year). You may have to work a
bit to find this information, by going up the website’s organization
“tree” or looking at the home page. At the very least, you should be able
to find out who put the information on the web—what company or person. If
you can’t find this information, then perhaps the article should NOT be in
a research paper (it doesn’t have the needed credibility—at least not to
be a primary source). However, if a part of the information listed in our
text (for notes) is not given, leave it out (this does NOT mean: “If you
are too lazy to look for the information, leave it out”).
Whatever you said here should be formatted as a direct quote. If this is
used as a direct quote, remember that you need the source IN the text, not
just in a footnote (if the source is a name, it is good to add the
person’s title—it gives him/her more authority: e.g., “…in effective
English classes,” according to Wang Chenxi, Professor of English at Peking
University. or Lin Tao, writer for The People’s Daily, reports: “Students
Strong statements (esp. those that a reader might not quickly agree with)
need to be either proven (which is not easy) or presented as direct or
Footnote superscript notations are placed immediately after a word, phrase
or sentence (following the comma, closing quotation mark, and/or period if
there is one). There is ALWAYS a space after such numbers. See the
examples in the “General Comment” section at the top of this handout: an
asterisk (*) shows where the footnotes go.
you are translating Chinese into a direct quote, you should make the
English perfect. If you are quoting “bad” English, add [sic] after every
mistake in the original text, but don’t change it. E.g.: Lin Tao said,
“They gets [sic] their wealth by accepting bribe [sic].” (The correct
English would be “They got their wealth by accepting bribes.”)
Just as there are no I/me/my’s in research papers, there should
probably not be any we/our’s. This is an objective paper. (Of
course, these are all OK in a direct quote.)
When you give me your paper, I only require three photo-copied pages (the
first page of three sources). I was therefore surprised when some students
gave me eight or more copied pages. I’m sorry I didn't make my
requirements clearer. WHEN YOU GIVE ME THE REVISION, please give me ONLY
THREE photo-copied pages (one each from three articles; at least one in
English; at most one from the Internet). Yes, they can be three of the
same pages you already gave me if they meet those requirements!
ital=italics (put this in italics)
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© 2007 Michael Krigline, all
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