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Research Paper Formatting Tips & Tricks

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

Formatting Basics -- Google Docs

From your Google Doc page, 1) click on the font type icon and 2) select your font type from the drop down list. For both MLA and APA you will select Times New Roman.

screencap of selecting font type in googledocs

Next, you need to set the font size to 12 for both MLA and APA. 1) Click on the font size icon and 2) select 12.

screencap of setting font size in googledocs

From your Google Doc, 1) click on File from the menu and 2) select Page Setup from the drop down menu.

screencap of setting margins step 1 in Google Docs

Next you can set the margins as you need them to be and click OK. MLA and APA both use 1 inch margins all around which is the Google Docs default.

screen cap of setting margins in Google Docs

From your Google Doc, 1) click on the Line Spacing icon (looks like lines with an arrow up and down) and 2) select Double from the drop down menu.

screen cap of setting the spacing to double in google docs

OR

From your Google Doc, 1) click on Format from the menu, 2) put your cursor on Line Spacing and 3) select Double from the pop out menu.

screen cap of setting double spacing using the format menu

From your Google Doc

1) click on the Insert menu

2) move your cursor to the Header & page number selection

3) move your cursor to the Page number selection and select the page number setup you want (usually the page number top right as show in the image below)

screen cap of setting page numbers in Google Docs

Create a Hanging Indent Using Google Docs

  1. After you have typed and centered Works Cited at the top of the page, press the Enter key.
     
  2. Select Format from the menu, then select Align and Indent. Next select Left from the menu that pops out.
    Select Format from the menu, then select Align and Indent. Select Left from the menu that pops out.
  3. Select Format from the menu, then select Align and Indent. Then select Indentation Options from the menu that pops out
    Select Format from the menu, then select Align and Indent. Then select Indentation Options from the menu that pops out

     
  4. Select Hanging from the Special Indent dropdown menu
  5. Select Hanging from the Special Indent dropdown menu
     
  6. Start typing your citation. When you reach the end of the link the program will indent the second line automatically. When you finish your citation and press the Enter key, the program will start the next citation at your left margin. Keep entering your citations in alphabetical order by first element and you're done!