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Research Basics

WES Research Paper Format

A WES research paper meets the following expectations:

  1. The draft copy and final paper are double spaced.
  2. Papers are typed in a simple, readable font such as Courier, Times New Roman, or Bookman.
  3. The type size is 12 pt.
  4. A title page includes the title of the project or paper, name of student, class, date.
  5. There is a separate bibliography page in the approved bibliography format.
  6. It includes in-text citations for grades 6 and above.
  7. The paper is stapled.

Bibliography Format:

The WES bibliographic format follows the Modern Language Association style in a simplified version for lower grades and uses MLA's basic rules for upper grades. Bibliographies are alphabetized by the beginning word in each entry. Please include the punctuation used below. Italics may be used in place of underlining.

Grades 2-4

All sources: 

Author's last name, author's first name. Title.

Grades 5-8          


Last name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Copyright Date.


When there are two authors: Last name, First name and Last name, First name. Title of Book. Publisher, Copyright Date.


When there is an editor: Last name, First name, ed. Title of Book. Publisher, Copyright date. 



Print Encyclopedia:

Author(s). "Article/Entry." Title of Reference Book. Contributor(s). Edition ed. Vol. #. Publisher, Year.

Encyclopedia on the Internet:

Author(s). "Article/Entry." Title of Reference Book. Contributor(s). Edition ed. Vol. #. Publisher, Year. Name of Web Site. URL. Date of Access.


Magazine/newspaper in Print: Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Article Title." Title of Newspaper or Magazine Publication. Date: Pages.

Magazine/Newpaper on the Internet:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Article Title." Title of Newspaper or magazine. Publication Date: Pages. Name of Web Site. URL. Date of Access.

Magazine/Newspaper from a Database:

Author Last Name, Author First Name.  "Article Title." Title of Newspaper.  Publication Date: Pages. Name of Database. URL. Date of Access.



Author(s). "Title of Article/Page." Name of Web Site. Site Publisher/Sponsor, Date of E-Publication. URL. Date of Access.


Citation Format:

The WES citation style follows the MLA in-text citation format. Students identify the source of a quotation, paraphrase, or summary by placing the author's last name and the page on which the citation appears in parentheses immediately after the cited material. There is a space between the author's last name and the page number. This brief citation should clearly indicate a source listed in the bibliography.

Grades 6-8:
(Author's last name page number)
Two authors: (Last name and Last name page number)
One author of more than one source: (Author last name, Title page number)
Multiple authors: (Author last name, et. al. page number)
No author: (shortened title page number)

Encyclopedia: (Author (if no author then title, page number)

Articles: (Author page number)

Internet: (Author's last name or "document title" )


WES requires its students and faculty to model the highest standards of intellectual honesty and has adopted the following statement to define what this means. The wording is from the Writing Center at Indiana University.

I will give credit whenever I use:

  • another person's ideas, opinions, or theories
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings, photographs,--any pieces of information--that are not common knowledge or in the public domain
  • quotations of another person's spoken or written words

The WES Research Protocol:

When working on research papers or reports students should keep in mind these stages of the research process:

  1. Asking researchable question
  2. Planning the research and managing personal time accordingly
  3. Identifying, locating, and evaluating resources
  4. Locating pertinent information within the identified resources
  5. Taking notes clearly or annotating photocopied information in a way that preserves attribution
  6. Sifting, sorting, and integrating information to answer research questions.
  7. Presenting information in an approved format and citing sources
  8. Reflecting on the research process

Helpful websites include: Big6 and NoodleQuest

Criteria for Using Reference Sources:

There are five generally accepted standards to apply when considering the use of any reference resource including internet sites. These criteria are:

  • Authority (who is the author and what are his/her qualifications)
  • Accuracy (does the information match that in other reputable sources)
  • Objectivity (does the information present a range of opinions or does it take a specific stand)
  • Currency (how recent is the information)
  • Coverage (how comprehensive is the information, what information is available only from this particular source)

Photocopying Resource Information for Research Purposes:

When students need to have information photocopied for research purposes they must request the help of the Librarian.

Interlibrary Loan

If specialized books not belonging to the WES library are needed for term papers, students may search the catalogs of other libraries and request an interlibrary loan to obtain specific books through WES Librarian Mr. Pané.

Students can look for titles by searching the online catalogs of the Montgomery County Library  and the Washington Regional Library Consortium.

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