It is important to remember that preparing a research paper is an important part of the social scientific process, since the research paper serves as a vehicle for making the research available for public scrutiny. Many editors of communications studies journals ask researchers to follow guidelines (for the author-date system) similar to those listed below.
To begin with, use standard font (Helvetica 10 or Times Roman 12) to type your document.

Prepare your paper on standard typing paper, i.e., 8.5 in by 11 in.

Please double-space the text.

Leave suitable margins, i.e., 1 in at the top and sides and 1.5 in at the bottom.

Number the pages, preferably at the top right hand corner,i.e., .5 in above the text.

Make sure that the title-page contains the following information; name of the course, title of the paper, name of the writer and date submitted.

Incorporate your references into the text. Some examples are provided below:

Quotations of four typed lines or more should be set off from the (writer's) text. Start a new line and indent five spaces from the left and the right margins, without quotation marks. Author, date and page number(s) should be indicated (in brackets) at the end of the passage (see the last example above).

If you feel inclined to footnote a point, i.e., to add information which does not fit very well into the main body of your text, you can footnote the material in the normal fashion. This means adding a section called "Notes" at the end of your text. Some examples are provided below:


  1. Elsewhere Lasswell claims that communication carries out three distinct functions. He speaks of the "surveillance" of the environment, the "correlation" of the various parts of society which respond to the environment, and the "transmission" of the social (and cultural) heritage of that environment, that is, from one generation to another.

  2. I think Shannon and Weaver (1949) miss the point here.

  3. Actually, C.E. Shannon's article appeared in the Bell System Technical Journal in 1948. The evidence suggests that Shannon began working on the problem in 1940.

Remember, list (alphabetically) all the references consulted at the end of your paper, i,e., just after the Notes and in a section called Works Cited. Some examples are listed below:

Works Cited

Ayer, A.J. 1955. "What is Communication?" In Theories of Communication: A Book of Readings, ed. R.M. Seiler. Calgary: Faculty of General Studies, 1987, pp. 1-18.

Blackmun, Harry. 1994. Interview with Ted Koppel and Nina Totenberg. Nightline. ABC. WABC, New York. 5 April.

Chandler, William. 1998. E-mail to the author. March 1.

Chast, Roz. 1994. Cartoon. New Yorker. 11 April: 21.

"Death of a Writer." 1994. Editorial. New York Times. 20 April: A18.

Dewey, J., and A.F. Bentley. 1949. Knowing and the Known. Boston: Beacon.

Dover, Mary. 1990. Interview with the author. 18 March.

Gerbner, George. 1956. "Toward a General Model of Communication." In Theories of Communication, pp. 91-119.

Gordimer, Nadine. 1991. Interview. New York Times. 10 October: C25.

Holiday, Billie. 1941. "God Bless the Child." Rec. 9 May 1941. The Essence of Billie Holiday. Columbia.

It's a Wonderful Life. 1946. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO.

McHoul, Alec. 1997. "Cyberbeing and ~space." Postmodern Culture 8.1:1-14. Available at http://www.iath.virginia.edu.pmc

---. 1998. "Cybernetymology and ~ethics." Postmodern Culture 9.1:1-18. Available at http://www.iath.virginia.edu.pmc

Kurosawa, Akira. 1950. Rashomon. Perf. Toshiro Mifune.

Lanchashire, Ian. 2005. E-mail to the author. 1 March.

Lewiston, David. n.d. Liner Notes. The Balinese Gamelan: Music from the Morning of the World LP. Nonesuch.

Miller, Gerald R. 1983. "Taking Stock of a Discipline." Journal of Communication 33:31-41.

Morris. C.W. 1946. Signs, Language, and Behavior. New York: Prentice-Hall.

MUSE. 1997. Project MUSE is available at http://muse.jhn.edu/ordering

Newcomb, Theodore M. 1953. "An Approach to the Study of Communicative Acts." In Theories of Communication, pp. 63-74.

Pei, I.M. 2004. Telephone Interview. 22 July.

Poussaint, Alvin F. 2003. Personal Interview. 22 July.

Safer, Morley. 1993. Letter. New York Times. 31 October: A14.

Scott, George C. 1990. Narr. World War II. Audiocassette. Carmichael.

Shakespeare, William. 1964. Othello. Perf. Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Frank Finley, and Derek Jacobi. Dir. John Dexter. LP. RCA Victor.

Shannon, C.E., and W. Weaver. 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication . Urbana: The University of Illinois Press.

Simon, Paul. 1990. The Rhythm of the Saints Warner Bros.

Symbols Bonanza. 1997. Greek Letters, Symbols, Subscripts, and Superscripts. Available at http://www.anachem.umu.se/graphics/symbols/symbols.html

Terkel, Studs. 1990. Address. Conference on Collective Composition and Communication Convention. Palmer House, Chicago. 22 March.

"Yes ... but is it Art?" 1993. Narr. Morley Safer. Sixty Minutes. CBS. WCBS, New York. 19 September.

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