Style Guide for Documents

These are default guidelines. Always check with your instructor; they may have different requirements.

Here is an example assignment using this style guide.


  • Format the document for US Letter size paper (8.5 x 11 inches / 21.5 x 27.9 cm)
  • Use Portrait orientation


  • Use Normal setting
  • Page margins are 2.54 cm top, bottom, left and right
  • Header and footer are 1.25 cm from top/bottom


Use common, easy-to-read fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.

Title Page

Unless instructed otherwise, a title page is not necessary.

Header Material

  • Top left of page
  • 9-12 point, same font as body text
  • No space between lines
  • Include:
    • Author name
    • Student id
    • Course and section number
    • Due date

Footer Material

  • Pages should be numbered, bottom right
  • Numbering should be Page X of Y

Citations, Footnotes & Bibliography

  • All content must be correctly cited using Chicago style footnotes and Bibliography
  • Use the Insert Footnote tool
  • Bibliography is on a separate page at end of document

Printing & Stapling

(For printed documents)

  • Print on both sides of the paper
  • Multiple-page documents should be stapled, top left of page

Document Title

  • 10-14 point, bold, centered on page
  • Add space after document title (6-12 points)
  • Font can be different from body text
  • Unless instructed otherwise, use the name of the assignment as your document title


  • 10-12 point, bold, left-aligned
  • Space after heading can be 0-10 points
  • Same font as body text
  • No following punctuation (no colon or dash)
  • Do not underline or italicize
  • Use upper and lower case; not

Body Text

  • 10-12 point, left-aligned
  • Use 1.15 line spacing
  • Do not underline text
  • Do not use
  • Use italics or bold rarely


  • Left-aligned, do not indent first line
  • Keep paragraphs short (typically fewer than six sentences)
  • Add space after each paragraph (6-12 points)


  • Use the List tool; do not make lists manually
  • Include an introductory sentence or paragraph, followed by a colon
  • Add space after lists (6-12 points)

Starting a New Page

Use the Insert Page Break tool; do not press “Enter” to make a new page. (See Insert or Remove a Page Break for more information)


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Professional Business Practice by Lucinda Atwood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.