School of Humanities Essay Writing
and Style Guide
Last updated February 2006
The information that follows will give you guidance in the editorial
style and style of presentation required by the School of Humanities at
Flinders in essays and academic work generally (you should also consult
individual department guidelines). Conventions of editorial style and
expression may sometimes seem arbitrary; they are not. Aimed at economy,
consistency, and attractiveness, they attend to the reader’s convenience
and facilitate the swift, accurate exchange of ideas. There is no incompatibility
between a creative, inventive argument and clear presentation and expression.
Bear in mind that your tutors and lecturers read several hundred essays
each year. Papers that are hard to read for whatever reason — for
example, poor presentation or confused grammatical structure — will
receive lower grades than they would otherwise deserve.
This guide is presented in the order of tasks undertaken
in the preparation of an essay.