Understanding Paragraph Format
by TESOL Instructor Stephen E. Dew
Understanding paragraph format is an important part of English paragraph writing skills. It is defines the way you layout or write your words on paper, so to speak. Whether you use a computer or hand write your paragraph, you should follow these guidelines.
- Your paper should be A4 (8.267 in x 11.692 in or 210 mm x 297 mm).
- You should use black or blue ink when writing, and if typing, you should use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman without any mark up or emphasized text.
- You must have a heading. A heading should give your name, course number and due date.
- You add your title in the center of the page after skipping a line from your heading. Ensure you underline your title.
- Your sentences in the body of the paragraph should be double spaced, and the first sentence of a paragraph is indented about 1 in or 25 mm.
- You leave a margin of about 1 in or 25 mm on the left and right side of your page. The bottom margin should also be about 1 in or 25 mm.
Note: If you are using a computer, you should set up line spacing in your document. In addition, you can italicize your title instead of underlining it.
As you can see, understanding paragraph format, the way you layout your paragraph, is an important element of good academic English writing.
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