Appendix M: Style Sheet for Graduate Seminar Papers and Theses

This style sheet, which provides the most accurate and up-to-date information on standard practice for writing scholarly papers in the field of classical studies, is to be used for all papers submitted for graduate credit in courses offered by the Department of Classics. It is also the style sheet that will be required for the M.A. thesis. By following these directions scrupulously, you will develop habits of proper argument, citation and referencing that will be of great help in your future teaching or scholarly career.

Thesis directors or instructors may modify these guidelines as appropriate.

I. Policy on Finished Papers
It is absolutely inappropriate to submit for credit rough first drafts lacking full and accurate citations and references or containing awkward language, poorly formulated arguments, and uncorrected mechanical errors. Final drafts of papers must be accompanied by a signed and dated checklist indicating that directions have been followed and necessary corrections have been made. Submissions that do not conform to directions will be returned ungraded for rewriting.

Students are responsible for setting up a time frame that allows for final checking and proofing.

II. Content and Organization
The opening paragraph of a term paper should contain a concise declaration of its topic (the "thesis statement"). This consists of:

  • a concise statement of the scholarly problem to be addressed;
  • a brief review and summary of previous opinion;
  • a clear explanation of the thesis and how it will contribute to the broader discussion of the topic.

The body of the paper should present the evidence for your thesis.

  • Lay out your arguments starting with the weakest first and ending with the most compelling.
  • When you quote a primary text in your paper, explain its implications and show how you have arrived at the conclusion you draw from it. It is not enough to paraphrase the content.
  • Insert citations and references as you go along, rather than waiting to look them up until after the paper is finished, which inevitably causes inaccuracies and omissions.
  • Proceed from point to point chronologically if at all possible.
  • Keep the reader in mind as you argue your case. Present the issue clearly. Do not force him or her to make inferences; spell them out.
  • Academic honesty requires that you take account of evidence contrary to your thesis in the body of the paper. Data that might weaken your case (such as an alternative reading of a text) can be acknowledged in the footnotes.
  • Avoid lengthy arguments against other opinions, especially in the body of the paper. Confine scholarly disagreements to a minimum, and put them into footnotes.

The final paragraph(s) of the paper should review the conclusions you have arrived at and demonstrate how, if accepted, they will shed further light on the question. Round off the paper with an effective ending sentence; do not let it trail off into oblivion.

III. Citing Primary Sources

a. Quotations

Block quotations: indent both the quotation and the following translation with tabs one inch to left and right. Leave one line of space between quotation and translation. Follow the format of the primary source (e.g., indent the pentameter of an elegiac couplet three spaces in from the hexameter). Do not italicize the quotation or the translation. 

Quotations of fewer than three lines of poetry or one full sentence of prose should be incorporated as smoothly as possible into the running text, using italics for Latin quotations. Translation should follow in parentheses, using quotation marks and Roman face.

b. Citations

Citation: abbreviate name of the author (e.g.: Ovid = "Ov.") and work (e.g.: " Met."). There is no comma after either. Book number should be in Arabic, not Roman, numerals, followed by a period and then the line number(s). Do not use "line" or "l." If you have mentioned the author's name and/or the work in the running text, you need not give it again in the citation.

To be precise, one cites a primary text and references a secondary source. However, one gives citations to an edition ("all citations of Ovid are to the Tarrant OCT"). OCT (Oxford Classical Text) is not italicized. Italicize OLD (Oxford Latin Dictionary), LSJ (Liddell-Scott-Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon), and OCD 4 (Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edition).

Citations and references should be put into a footnote only as part of a comment or peripheral remark-never by themselves. Brief textual citations are normally put into the body of the paper: "Apollo's passion for Daphne is attributed to Cupid's wrath (saeva Cupidinis ira, Ov. Met. 1.453)."

c. Abbreviations of Authors and Works

For abbreviations of ancient authors and works, consult OCD 4 first; if you do not find them there, use the abbreviations in OLD or LSJ. Abbreviations of standard secondary sources (e.g., G-P, HE = Gow and Page, The Greek Anthology: Hellenistic Epigrams, 2 vols., 1965) are also in OCD 4.

d. Translation of Primary Sources

All quotations from primary sources must be accurate (including breathings and accents in Greek) and followed by a prose English translation. You must provide your own translation, which will tell your instructor/thesis advisor whether you have construed the passage correctly. Translations must also be supplied for quotations from secondary sources in languages other than English. Please note in a footnote that all translations are your own.

IV. Referencing Secondary Sources
All references should be author-date: "‘Ovid must have read installments of his poem to chosen friends' (Fantham 2004: 4)."

Author-date reference: author's last name, followed by copyright date of book, colon, and page number(s). Do not use "page" or "p." If you have mentioned the author's name in the running text, you need not give it again in the author-date reference; instead, put date and page number in parentheses immediately after author's name. Example: "As Fantham (2004: 4) says...". Avoid "ibid." and "loc. cit." They are old-fashioned.

On-line reference (cf. UA Library Citation Guide):

follow MLA guidelines


or (Hesperia system):

For abbreviations of journals not in OCD 4 see the online guidelines of the American Journal of Archaeology.

Commas and periods inside closing quotation marks, colons and semicolons outside, please! Footnote mark should follow closing punctuation with no space between.

V. Works Cited
List of secondary sources should begin on a new page after running text and should be headed "Works Cited" (not "Bibliography" or "References"). It should contain only those items actually mentioned in text, not those consulted.

Sample formats:

Book: Fantham, E. 2004. Ovid's Metamorphoses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Article: Robinson, T. M. 1968. "Ovid and the Timaeus." Athenaeum 46: 254-60.

Book Chapter: Richlin, A. 1992. "Reading Ovid's Rapes," in A. Richlin, ed., Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome. New York: Oxford University Press. 158-79.

Use initials or full first and second names for author, but don't mix them. If you are spelling out full names, then use initials only when given on title page ("Cairns, Francis J.," but "Wiseman, T. P.").

Second (and further) works by same author: indicate same author with three em-dashes, no space between, followed by period (---.). Entries should be arranged chronologically, beginning with earliest reference and ending with last.

Works published by author in same year are differentiated as 2001a, 2001b, 2001c, etc. Order is determined by title alphabetically.

Multiple references to a single collection of essays:

First, enter the collection as a whole under the editor's or author's name: Braund, S. M., and C. Gill, eds. 1997. The Passions in Roman Thought and Literature . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Then enter individual chapters under author's name and date, followed by last names of editor(s), date, and page numbers in volume: Gill, C. 1997. "Passions as madness in Roman poetry." In Braund and Gill 1997: 213-41.

When a volume has more than two editors, you can use the name of the first editor followed by et al.

If a volume has more than one edition, use the latest:

Richlin, A. 1992. The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

If original date of publication is germane to your argument, it can be added in brackets (not parentheses) after date of edition used. Original publication information is supplied in parentheses following publisher:

Richlin, A. 1992 [1983]. The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press (1st ed. New Haven: Yale University Press).

Remember that the first rule of citing and referencing is accuracy, the second consistency!

VI. Additional Help
The authoritative resource for all questions of style, including citation and referencing, is the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, online in our library under "Reference Resources." In addition, you can access the Chicago Manual Q&A through its website. Every semester, the University of Arizona's Writing Skills Improvement Program offers free workshops on techniques of academic writing for graduate students. They are open to everyone; no pre-registration required. For a schedule of this semester's presentations, consult the WSIP website.