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Presentation and formatting

When preparing your report or essay for submission, think about the person who will be marking it. If you want good marks, ensure that your work looks professional and neat. Refer to your unit guide for instructions on how to present and format your document. The following suggestions are provided as a guide.


  • Word-process your report or essay, rather than writing it by hand.
  • Use the spellcheck function.
  • Think about sentence and paragraph construction.
  • Edit for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Refer to QuickRef20: Editing and proofreading your work
  • Use headings and sub-headings to make your text reader-friendly. Ensure headings refer to the content rather than stage of the paper.
  • Correctly reference any material you use from other authors (see Referencing).
  • Use direct quotes sparingly, if at all, and reference them correctly (see Referencing).
  • Seek advice from your tutor or Language and Learning Services where necessary.

Formatting your document

Check your unit guide for specific instructions. If no specific instructions on formatting are given, the following guidelines may be helpful.

Formatting your document
Section Description
Font The font used throughout should be Times New Roman; size and style vary according to the section.
Margins All four page margins should be 2.5cm wide.
Title This should be in 18-point font, bold, centred, in title case.
Author details This should be in 11-point font size, bold, and centred. The author details should be given immediately below the title. Include, in three separate lines, your name, your ID, and the name of your tutor.
Main text This should be in 12-point font size, regular, justified, and single-spaced. Do not indent paragraphs, and leave a blank line between paragraphs
Section titles
  • The main titles should be in 14 point font size, bold, upper and lower case. The titles should be numbered 1, 2, 3, ... .
  • Secondary titles should be in 12 point font size, bold, and numbered with a second number (eg 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, ... ). Leave a blank line before and after each title.
Tables and figures Include tables and figures in the body of the paper, number them, and refer to them as Table 1, Figure 2, etc. All figures and tables should have short explanatory captions (titles).
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