A Useful Tutorial for Those Who Write a Research Paper in APA Format

Some colleges require that you write your papers in APA format. The reason why they want you to write in a format is so that they can easily grade everyone on their writing style equally. They are able to assign a paper using a page count rather than a word count as well. The format is easy to read and makes everyone’s paper standard.

It does make you accountable for following instructions. For example, your professor has assigned a certain amount of points to you having your paper formatted correctly. In order to ensure that you don’t lose points because you haven’t formatted your paper correctly, use this guide as a useful tool for getting the formatting right.

Formatting your paper correctly:

  • Set your margins to 1” on all sides
  • Set your font style to Times New Roman
  • Set your font size to 12
  • Double space your paragraphs
  • Set up your header (specific directions listed below)
  • Set up your Title page (specific directions listed below)
  • Set up reference page to go at the end of your paper
  • Titles for paragraphs should be centered but not underlined, italicized, or bolded

Setting up your header:

The header of your paper should contain the topic of your paper in the upper left hand corner flush totally to the left. The header should also include the page number in the upper right hand corner flush totally to the right. This header will continue throughout the entire paper. Refer to the help menu in your word processing program to determine how to set up a header.

Setting up your title page:

Your title page should include the header at the top and these items listed and double spaced in the middle of the page.

  • Title
  • Author’s Name
  • University
  • Course Name
  • Instructor’s name
  • Date

All of these should be in normal text without any bolded, italicized, or underlined text. Some professors will want this information in a different order. Please refer to your instructor’s exact requirements if they list them.

The reference page should start a whole new page at the end of your paper. You should center the word “References” and do not underline, italicize, or bold the text. Each reference should be listed in alphabetical order flush to the left hand side. The references will be double spaced with the second and subsequent lines indented.

If you follow this guide, you will not lose points for not formatting your papers correctly. Once you get used to formatting your papers, it will be really easy. Some schools have provided programs that you can download that will automatically format your papers in this format. Contact your teacher or administrator to see if this option is available at your school.