Rebecca Lesses

Rebecca Lesses

Associate Professor and Jewish Studies Coordinator, Jewish Studies
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

Proper Paper and Citation Format

All papers should be:

  • typed
  • double-spaced
  • with one-inch margins all around
  • cleanly printed -- no lines or streaks on the page
  • paper title on first page
  • author’s name on first page
  • number each page at the bottom
  • full citation of all sources
  • proofread before handing in the paper; use your spellcheck

Tips for good papers (adapted from Jack Rossen, "Basic Guidelines for a College-level Anthropology Paper")

  1. Write from an outline. It helps organize your thoughts. By the time you are writing, you should know where the entire paper is headed from start to finish. Instead of holding thoughts in your head as you write, you should merely be executing a series of thoughts contained in your outline.
  2. Use long quotes sparingly (or avoid them altogether)—when you must use one, it should be single-spaced and indented. Short quotes (fewer than five lines) may be placed within regular double-spaced text.
  3. Organize the paper in terms of an introduction, body, and summary/conclusion. The introduction should tell what your topic is, what issues you’ll discuss, and briefly what you’ll conclude. Likewise, the conclusion reiterates and summarizes major themes, perhaps along with your personal reactions and opinions.
  4. Intersperse your references. That is, find more than one reference on a topic or issue and compare and contrast. Students have a tendency to cobble sources, that is, to write a few pages from one source, then write the next couple of pages from another source, and so on. Avoid "cobbling," because it produces low quality papers.
  5. Watch your paragraph structure, each page should optimally have two or three paragraphs. Avoid long stretches without paragraphs or one-liner paragraphs. A minimum paragraph is usually four sentences.

Citation format

  • footnotes, not endnotes --
  • the first time you use a source, cite it fully in the footnote.
  • For subsequent citations of the same source, cite it with author’s name, short title, and page number.
  • bibliography of all works used in the paper
  • arranged in alphabetical order by author
  • every source must be properly cited

Footnote Placement Example

"Similarly, as Bernard Septimus has shown [1] it was apparently the Almohade persecution that gave rise to a new Jewish saying (a purposeful distortion of an ancient Midrashic utterance): ‘Better (to live) under Edom [i.e., Christendom] than under Ishmael [i.e. Islam]."" [2]

1. Bernard Septimus, "Better under Edom than under Ishmael: The History of a Saying" (in Hebrew), Zion 47 (1982) 103-111.

2. Mark Cohen, "Islam and the Jews: Myth, Counter-Myth, History," in Shlomo Deshen and Walter P. Zenner, eds., Jews among Muslims: Communities in the Precolonial Middle East (New York: New York University Press, 1996) 62.

Types of Footnote Citation

Book with one author, first citation:
author, title (place: publisher, date) page number.
Stephen M. Wylen, Settings of Silver (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2000) 134.
second and subsequent citations
Wylen, Settings, p. 163.

Article in edited book, first citation:
author, "title," in editor(s), eds., title (place: publisher, date) page number.
Mark Cohen, "Islam and the Jews: Myth, Counter-Myth, History," in Shlomo Deshen and Walter P. Zenner, eds., Jews among Muslims: Communities in the Precolonial Middle East (New York: New York University Press, 1996) 62.
second and subsequent citations
Cohen, "Islam and the Jews," p. 62.

Article in journal, first citation
author, "title," journal volume (date) page number.
Harvey Goldberg, "The Mimouna and the Minority Status of Moroccan Jews," Ethnology 17 (1978) 80.
second and subsequent citations
Goldberg, "Mimouna," p. 80.

Encyclopedia citation
"title," encyclopedia volume: page number.
"Passover," Encyclopedia Judaica 8: 154. (=volume 8, page 154)

Bibliography Citation Formats

Book with one author
last name, first name. title. place: publisher, date.
Wylen, Stephen M. Settings of Silver. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2000.

Edited book
editor last name, first name (if subsequent editors, their names are in first name last name order), eds. title. place: publisher, date.
Deshen, Shlomo and Walter P. Zenner, eds. Jews among Muslims: Communities in the Precolonial Middle East. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

Article in edited book
last name, first name. "title," page numbers. In editors, eds. title. place: publisher, date.
Cohen, Mark. "Islam and the Jews: Myth, Counter-Myth, History," pp. 50-63. In Shlomo Deshen and Walter P. Zenner, eds. Jews among Muslims: Communities in the Precolonial Middle East. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

Article in journal
last name, first name. "title." journal volume (date) page numbers.
Goldberg, Harvey. "The Mimouna and the Minority Status of Moroccan Jews." Ethnology 17 (1978) 75-87.

Encyclopedia
title. place: publisher, date.
Encyclopedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter, 1972.

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