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If you print your paper, use only white, 8½-by-11-inch paper. Use a high-quality printer. Some instructors prefer papers printed on a single side because such papers are easier to read, but others allow printing on both sides to conserve paper.

Proofread and correct your research paper carefully before submitting it. Spellcheckers and usage checkers can be helpful but should be used with caution. They do not find all errors, such as words spelled correctly but misused, and they sometimes label correct material as erroneous, such as many proper nouns as well as terms from languages other than English.

Microsoft Word, for example, uses its own dictionary to check spelling. If you are writing an essay that uses specialized terms or non-English terms that aren’t in Word’s dictionary, you might want to add those terms to the dictionary. If you right-click on the term and then click “Add to Dictionary,” Word won’t mark the term as misspelled.

Pages of a printed research paper may get misplaced or lost if they are left unattached or merely folded down at a corner, so be sure to use a staple or paper clip. Although a plastic folder or a binder may seem an attractive finishing touch, most instructors find that such devices make it harder to read and comment on students’ work.

If you are asked to submit your paper electronically, follow your teacher’s guidelines for formatting, mode of submission (e.g., by e-mail or on a website), and so forth.

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