quiltlef.gif (8176 bytes) VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature
English 112 (English Composition II)

Submission Formats

Follow the specifications of your professor for any variations from these suggested formats. Note that academic work typically requires certain format conventions and that work submitted in unacceptable formats might not receive credit.

Papers | Electronic Submissions | Netiquette | Attachments and Filenames

Colored Wavy Line

Format for Papers

Unless otherwise specified, all work must be typed or word processed and submitted in current Modern Language Association (MLA) style. See the sample at the end of this list.

  • Double line spaced throughout and printed on one side of white bond 8.5-by-11-inch paper
  • Margins left (not full) justified (also known as ragged right), one-inch on the sides and bottoms of pages and .5-inch top
  • Last name headers and page numbers in the upper right corner of every page--using the automatic header and page numbering feature of the word processor
  • Student identification--student's full name, professor's name, course name and numbers, and the submission date--double spaced at the left margin on the first page
  • For word processed work, the correct key strokes for all spacing:
    • Center titles below the student identification, properly punctuated and capitalized (not all caps).
    • Press the space bar only to add space between words and after terminal punctuation and colons.
    • Add only one space after terminal punctuation and colons.
    • Use the tab key only to indent first lines of paragraphs and for specified column and table features.
    • Use automatic numbering and outlining features of the word processor; do not key in page numbers.
    • Use the special indent feature of the word processor for indenting long quotations
  • Handwritten work when accepted must follow the same format and must be written in black or dark blue ink on one side of lined notebook paper with clean edges.
  • Submittted stapled without title pages or report folders or if submitted electronically, transmitted according to the directions for electronic submissions

ON-SITE students are expected to come to class with their papers ready to turn in at the beginning of class on due dates.

Students in ONLINE CLASSES must use this same format for word processed papers and then save them as files to be submitted as e-mail attachments. If it is necessary to submit formal work within the message body of e-mail, use the exact same format conventions with these exceptions:

  • Single space and add one extra line space between paragraphs; do not attempt to double space.
  • Type full student identification first as in a printed paper.
  • Type your title left instead of centered.
  • Use no headers or page numbers.
  • Remember to include your signature block at the end if your "paper" is included in your message body.

A model of the first page format follows.

                                                            Smart 1

 Pat Smart

 Professor I.M.A. Sage

 English 112-12B

 November 21, 1996

                        The Human Hand and the Hand of God:

           Pride and Power in "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Top of Page | Bottom of Page | Papers | Electronic Submissions | Netiquette | Attachments and Filenames

Electronic Submissions

In order for your electronic submissions to be acceptable, you must use the correct formats. Otherwise, your work might not transmit properly and you might not receive credit. Always check with your professors about their specific submission requirements.

Electronic Mail

For additional information, see Setting and Using Your E-Mail and Web Browser.

E-mail is a transmission medium, not a writing style. The messages sent with e-mail vary in format, just as messages on paper vary according to audience, purpose, and conventions like business and magazine styles. Sometimes e-mail is as informal as scribbled notes to friends and family; other times it is more formal, as in a note to a professional colleague or a memo to an employee or supervisor. Sometimes e-mail can be as formal as a business letter or an academic paper.


  • E-mail may seem private, but it is not. Think of it more like a postcard than like a letter. The message is accessible to many people who have no interest in reading it; however, it is possible for them to read it. After all, cyberspace consists of computers all over the world linked together electronically. Most organizations back up everything on their servers daily, including incoming and outgoing e-mail at academic and commercial sites, meaning there's a permanent record of your messages somewhere. Additionally, sometimes people accidentally send e-mail to somebody other than the intended recipient. So be aware that your audience might be larger than you originally intended.
  • Be especially careful about your diction and tone; irony and humor aren't always understood. Clear communication of your intention and meaning depend entirely on your choice and arrangement of words. Do not type all capitals, which is difficult to read and has come to be considered the e-mail version of "shouting." Do be courteous, even when you disagree, and provide clear, logical support for your views.
  • Always provide a clear context for your messages: appropriate subject lines and enough information in the message itself to establish the situation about which you are writing. Avoid reposting long previous messages: paraphrase them (identifying the original sender) or quote excerpts (identifying the original sender and the fact that they are excerpts).
  • As a member of the academic community, you are expected to conduct yourself in person, in print, and on line in a responsible way and in the spirit of courteous educational inquiry. Of course, you are expected to abide by the policies of the college and the laws of the state and the country.

Top of Page | Bottom of Page | Papers | Electronic Submissions | Netiquette | Attachments and Filenames

Formats for E-Mail

For additional information, see Setting and Using Your E-Mail and Web Browser.

Naming Conventions

  • Unless otherwise instructed by your professor, configure your e-mail settings to use the following name and return address format for yourself. You might need to set this option as "personal information" or "return address format" or "real name" or "user name" or "screen name." Check with your software help files and your service provider for assistance. All e-mail to your teacher and classmates should come "from" you with last name first and e-mail address in angle brackets. Your return address should be set the same way if possible. AOL users cannot add a "real name" and should therefore set one of their "screen names" to be last name first in format.

    "Lastname, Firstname" <email@address>

    For example,

    "Smart, Pat" <smartpat@speedmail.net> *NOTE: Use your own name, not Pat Smart

    or for AOL users SmartPat@aol.com or SmartP@aol.com


  • Always include a short descriptive subject line including full course information and your last name at the end, formatted as in the following example. For assigned postings, you might be assigned a subject heading. If so, be sure to use it so that you receive credit.

Subject: Descriptive Subject Course Name and Number and Section Number, Term and Year, Yourlastname

For example,

Subject: Hawthorne Question English 112-81B Spring 1997 Smart


Signature Blocks

  • All class e-mail must include signature blocks at the end of every message with students' full names and e-mail return addresses as well as course information. If you would like to add additional information such as your phone number, you may. Either set your mail program to provide a signature automatically or type the information at the end of every message, as in the following example. If your e-mail package doesn't allow for automated signatures, write one in your word processor, save it with a recognizable name such as emailsig.doc, and then copy and paste it at the end of all your e-mail messages.

Pat Smart <smartpat@speedmail.net> *NOTE: Use your own name, not Pat Smart
English 112-81B Spring 1997


E-Mail Message Formats

  • Informal and personal e-mail does not require any special format for the message itself. The writer determines whether or not a greeting or salutation would be appropriate. However, even informal e-mail in academic environments might have some special features such as clarity, coherence, correctness, courtesy, and subject-signature conventions.
  • Because many e-mail packages do not support fancy format features, single space and justify left with extra space between paragraphs. Keep paragraphs short. To indicate the equivalent of underline or italic, place an underscore _before and after_ words you would italicize in your word processor and highlight with an asterisk *before and after* words you would boldface in your word processor. Some people add an occasional facial expression or gesture with interpolated comments [waving right hand] or emoticons also known as smilies :) and frownies :( like these.
  • E-mail memos or memoranda have the same general characteristics as print memos. The body of the message begins with a header like this one.

To: English 112-18 Spring 1997 Students
From: Pat Smart, English 112-81 Spring 1997
CC: Professor I.M.A. Sage
Date: June 1, 1997
Subject: Favorite Poem

Here is my favorite poem, "Fleas." I don't know who wrote it. I hope you enjoy it.


Pat Smart <smartpat@speedmail.net>
English 112-81B Spring 1997

  • E-mail letters have greetings and closings like those in print letters.

September 1, 1997

Dear Classmates,

My favorite poem is attached to this message. I hope you enjoy it.



Pat Smart <smartpat@speedmail.net>
English 112-81B Spring 1997

Top of Page | Bottom of Page | Papers | Electronic Submissions | Netiquette | Attachments and Filenames

Attachments and Submissions on Disk - Filenames

  • Be sure that the file you save on a disk or your hard drive includes within it full student information in the upper left, that it has a heading or title as appropriate, and that it follows the format requirements for the assignment see Format for Papers.
  • Filenames for documents submitted on disk or as e-mail attachments must have descriptive names (often these names will be assigned) and must end with your two initials (first and last initials).
    • Unless you have been advised otherwise, they must total no more than eight characters followed by a period (dot) plus a three-character extension that designates the file type. Your word processor adds this extension for the file type except when you save in a special format. Do not use long filenames, which are not universally readable.
    • Remember to include your own initials shown as XX in the example; these initials distinguish your file from other people's files when they are transmitted and opened. If somebody else in the class has the same initials, notify the professor to arrange a variant. For example, if two students are Pat Smart and Pat Sage, one might be asked to submit as ps and the other as xs.

fleasxx.doc or fleasxx.wpd *NOTE: Use your own initials instead of XX.

  • If your files do not transmit as they should, contact your professor promptly to determine alternative submission formats. If you are not using Word or WordPerfect, you might be able to use text files or rich text format. Acrobat pdf files are another alternative. You might be able to use html instead.

Papers | Electronic Submissions | Netiquette | Attachments and Filenames

Colored Wavy Line

Top | VCCS Litonline http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/subforms | developed by D. Reiss | modified 02/20/05 by D. Reiss

Click the purple quilt piece on
each root page to go to the Litonline sitemap.