Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins. Apply double line spacing. If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page. Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.
APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.
The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.
Generate an automatic table of contents Generate a list of tables and figures Ensure consistent paragraph formatting Insert page numbering.
The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations, APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.
MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.
Table of contents.
Published on November 19, 2020 by Jack Caulfield. Revised on January 18, 2022.
Tip If you struggle with the format of your paper, you could use Scribbr’s APA Paper Formatting service or Customized Formatting service. Our formatting experts can:
APA Style citation requires author-date in-text citations throughout the text and a reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.
Formatting an APA paper Formatting an MLA paper Formatting a Chicago paper Frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.
Formatting an MLA paper.
Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.
Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.
On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:
The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows: