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Research Paper Formatting Tips & Tricks

This guide has 'how-to" information about formatting MLA and APA research papers.

Reset Default Formatting

Instead of resetting your font, font size, spacing, and margins for every document you produce for a class you can set your Google Doc defaults to comply with MLA and APA requirements.

Start a new document in Word. Change your settings as desired (font type, font size, spacing etc...).

To make your settings your new default, 1) click on Change Styles in the ribbon, and 2) Set as Default from the drop down menu.

screen cap of the last step in setting new default settings in MS Word

Instead of resetting your font, font size, spacing, and margins for every document you produce for a class you can set your Google Doc defaults to comply with MLA and APA requirements.

Simply start with a Google Doc with a few words. Highlight the text and set the desired formatting (font type, font size, margins etc.) Once you have your settings the way you want them, highlight your text and 1) click on the arrow next to the Normal Text box, 2) click on the arrow next to Normal text, and 3) select Update Normal text to match.

screen cap of step 1 in setting new default formatting in Google Docs

Next you need to set this to be the new default for your Google Docs going forward. 1) Click on the arrow next to the Normal Text box, 2) click on Options from the drop down menu, and 3) select Save as my default styles. Now when you start a new document these will be your default settings.

screen cap of step 2 in setting new default settings in Google Docs