Writing Your 4 Page Concept Paper

A guideline for developing and submitting your concept paper.

Are you ready to get started on your concept paper? We have put
together a simple template to help you organize your thoughts and ideas.
Let’s get started.




Concept Paper Styling Guidelines


  • Please submit your final concept paper as a Word Document (.doc, .docx) or a PDF.
  • Concept papers must not exceed 4 pages.
  • Use a one-column format and common fonts such as Times New Roman,
    Arial or Calibri. It is best to use 10 or 11 pt type with 1-inch
  • Lists can highlight important items, draw attention to main points,
    or list information so readers can find it easily. Each list must
    consist of at least two items. Items that are subordinate to the list
    material can be set off with a dash. Such lists should be parallel in
  • Begin each item in a bulleted list with a capital letter. End punctuation is omitted (unless the item is a complete sentence).
  • Use only one space between sentences and after colons (not the two spaces we learned in typing class).
  • Use capitalization and italics judiciously. It is not always
    necessary to capitalize or italicize for emphasis or for the name of
    company departments, pieces of equipment, titles, offices, acronyms, or
  • In general, most compound words with prefixes such as non, ex, re,
    pre, are not hyphenated. But use the hyphen when the second word is a
    proper noun (e.g., post-Vietnam).
  • Always place periods and commas within quotation marks. Place colons and semicolons outside quotation marks.
  • In a series consisting of three or more elements, separate each
    element with a comma (often called the “series comma”). If commas are
    used within an element, use semicolons.
  • Include charts, graphs and images to help convey your concept or idea.




Citing your Sources

If references are cited in the text, they must be included in a reference list at the end of the paper.


  • Planet Wheat—Kansas Wheat Commission. 2002a.
    A short history of bread.
    (website example)
  • Malteesh, C., Somasundaran, P., and Gruber, G.A. 1996.
    Fundamentals of oleic acid adsorption on phosphate
    flotation feed during anionic conditioning. Min. Metall.
    Process. 13(1):156–158. (journal or periodical example)
  • Mayes, B.H., and Fripp, B.T. 1991. Zeolite Minerals in Utah.
    Open-File Report 210. Salt Lake City: Utah Geological
    Survey. (report example)


Need help getting started?

We’ve created a simple Concept Paper Template to help you organize your thoughts and outline your concept or idea. If you get stuck or need additional help, please contact the Move Mining Competition at movemining@smenet.org.

Download the Concept Paper Template