You start with a muddle of brainstormed ideas, then organize those ideas and create paragraphs. You make sure that your ideas are well-supported and that your arguments flow logically from beginning to end. You take the time to check the correctness of your language. Now, it’s time to polish your writing and present it in the format required by your instructor. This final stage is like putting a coat of wax on your car before you drive it; you want it to look its best!

Your paper should follow these guidelines, unless otherwise indicated by your instructor:

  • Include a title page. Consult with your instructor to see if she or he has a personal preference for title page format. If your instructor has no preference, your title page should include:
    • the title of the essay
    • your name
    • the name of your institution
    • the course name and number
    • the instructor’s name
  • Use one inch margins on top, bottom and sides.
  • Double-space and type in a 12 point serif font (e.g., Times New Roman or Arial).
  • Number your pages in a header at the top right corner of the page.
  • Repeat your title at the centre top of the first page of your essay.
  • Attach a reference page at the end of your paper, following the correct format. For more information about reference page format, see Lethbridge College APA Student Guide.

Please note that if you are required to use APA formatting, there are guidelines for how to create a title page. Look up this information if you are not sure.

Clarify your instructor’s formatting and submission requirements before the paper is due!

Sample Student Paper - Polishing

In the polishing stage of the writing process, the paper needs to be put in to the correct format.  This sample student paper uses APA format, the standard format published by the American Psychological Association.  Lethbridge College students should use the guide provided by their institution and available online: Lethbridge College APA Student Guide. The polishing of this paper is based on the 4th edition of the student guide. The following video highlights what must be considered when polishing a paper:

Sample Student Paper - Referencing

View a second video which provides tips on how the references were created for this sample student paper.  It specifically addresses the formatting of the audiovisual media, books, miscellaneous print sources, periodicals and electronic sources that were referred to in the writing of the paper.