How to Set up a Paper
1) Set the margins of your paper to be 1 inch on all sides (go to Margins under Page Layout)
2) Use the font: Times New Roman
3) The font size should be 12 point.
4) Make sure your paper is double-spaced and that the Before and After boxes both read 0 (go to Paragraph and then look under Spacing.)
5) You text should be aligned left (also go to Paragraph and look under General.)
6) Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key).
How to Set up an APA Paper
APA (American Psychological Association) Style is generally used for disciplines such as Psychology, Sociology, Education, Nursing, Communication, and other social sciences.
General format guidelines:
1) Follow all basic rules mentioned above.
2) Your essay should include four major sections: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and Reference Page.
3) Set up a Title Page: include the page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.
· Go to Insert → Header → Edit Header → Design → Choose Different First Page
· Go to Insert → Page Number → Top of Page → Plain Number 3 → Click. (Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) → Type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number. (Please note that on the title page, your page header should look like this:
Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:
TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
4) The Title Page should include:
· The title of you paper: type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
· The author’s name (your name): beneath the title, type the author’s name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph.D).
· The institutional affiliation: beneath the author’s name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research, such as Mississippi College.
5) Set up an Abstract Page:
· Begin a new page.
· Set up a page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.
Ø Go to Insert → Page Number → Top of Page → Plain Number 3 → type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number.
Ø Make sure all pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:
TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
· On the first line of the abstract page, center the word Abstract (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks.)
· Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.)
6) The Body of your paper:
· It should start from the third page of your paper.
· You should already include the page header (described above)
· Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered on the first line.
· Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key)
7) Reference Page:
· This page begins on a new page.
· This page should be double-spaced as well.
· This page should have a running head, too.
· Center the word References without underlining, bolding, or italicizing it. If there is only one entry, title this page Reference.
· Create a hanging indention for this page:
Ø Go to Paragraph and select Special under Indention
Ø Then select Hanging
Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?”, the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.
In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.
This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.
Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).
Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.
Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).
Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.
As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”
Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.
David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).
Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.
Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting”, Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.
Writing at Work
APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:
- MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
- Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
- Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.
The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.
The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:
- The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
- The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
- The full title of the source
- For books, the city of publication
- For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
- For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
- For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located
The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. (Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting”, Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)
In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.
- Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
- Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
- APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
- APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
- In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
- In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.