University of Arkansas.

Daniel B. Levine

PAPER TIPS

Please follow the guidelines given here when writing papers for Classical Studies Courses.

(Click here for Professor's overall Expectations for your papers)

1. References may be in any format you choose; you may use footnotes or endnotes; you may make references to a bibliography at the end of the paper. Try to be consistent.

2. When you cite ancient sources, do so in parentheses within the body of the paper. For example: "Sometimes Aristophanes uses dialect to distinguish Athenians from Spartans, as when Hermes speaks in Laconic Greek (Peace 214)."

3. Papers should be double-spaced.

4. Each paper should have a creative title, a bibliography, and proper reference to sources used, when appropriate: i.e., cite the sources that lie behind your assertions.

5. Feel free to use the first person. (example: "I shall show that without Cleon, Aristophanes would have been a failure as a playwright.")

6. Please include your own ideas about what you write. Don't just parrot others.

7. Feel free to give separate parts of your paper their own headings or titles.

8. Try to include transitional sentences or paragraphs: e.g. "We have seen that politics dominate Knights, but when considering Menander's Old Cantankerous, we find a different world view altogether."

9. Feel free to add illustrations to your papers, and make sure to make proper reference to them in the text.

10. You may refer to reports and handouts in this class. Do so with the proper credit to reporter and sources, and include date, if available.

11. Don't misuse adjectives. When you say something is "fascinating," "brilliant, "or "important", your text must justify such an assessment. Do not let adjectives argue for you. Use facts.

12. Proofread your paper before handing it in, or ask a friend to proofread it. This can save embarrassing mistakes. Spell checkers are not as smart as you are.

13. Don't be too colloquial in term papers. These are formal, and should have the tone appropriate to scholarly writing. This does not mean that you have to be stodgy or humorless, but that you should have some feel for decorum.

14. Include examples of what you mean. If there are texts that might illustrate your points, include a few. If there is some anecdote that might enliven your narrative, include it. Keep your reader AWAKE.

15. Be sure that you cite your sources. Not doing so is one of the main problems that student papers display. If you get some information from an author, tell your reader the source you are using. You may paraphrase if it is clear whom you are citing. You may quote, but avoid long quotations (more than ten lines is "long").

16. If you use Greek or Latin terms, be sure to underline and define them.

17. Cite references to ancient sources, even if you find out about them in a modern source. For instance, if you have a book that says that Plato's Republic speaks of women in equal terms with men, cite the sections of Plato, not only the modern text from which you got the information.

18. Do not entitle your bibliography "Sources Cited" if it includes sources you do not mention in the body of your paper.

19. Watch your apostrophes. If you mean to speak of the artistry of Artisophanes, be sure to write "Aristophanes' artistry."

20. When you cite quotations from a translation that has no line numbers, you may cite page numbers. Otherwise, try to cite line numbers.

 

These tips written by D. B. Levine, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas.