Cleveland State University

The Writing Center

Formatting your WAC Paper

The format of your paper in any class creates an immediate impression:  it is either one that says you value the class or one that says you did not take time to do small things well.  Below are some of the concerns faculty members have regarding formatting.  When you eventually write at work, the impression your texts create will have an impact, so you want to be concerned with the text’s appearance now.

What Professors Most Dislike in Formatting

Here is a list of what many professors dislike:

  • Margins wider than 1”
  • Spacing anything other than double
  • Extra spacing between paragraphs
  • Font that is anything but 12 point
  • Font that is anything but Ariel, Times New Roman, or Courier
  • Improper citations in the text
  • Iimproper citations in the reference list
  • Print that is difficult to read
  • Any kind of mark or stain on a text
  • Signs that show you do not know the appropriate style manual to use (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE)
Help with Formatting

The style manuals like MLA or APA are written for researchers, not students, so the links below will help you get the information you need quickly: check out https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/ depending on your citation needs; the first addresses MLA and the second addresses APA.

Return to WAC index

engaged learning
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Provost Office
2121 Euclid Avenue

RT Library 124
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes Tower 124
1860 E. 22 Street
Office Hours
Mon - Thurs : 9:30 am-7:00 pm
Fri : 9:30 am-4:00 pm


For appointments call:
216.687.6981
Dr. Mary McDonald
216.687.6982
Fax: 216.687.6943
Dr. Mary McDonald , Director

Web Content Contact
216.687.6981



This site contains files that require the free Adobe Reader to view.