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Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Media Files: APA Sample Student Paper  ,  APA Sample Professional Paper

This resource is enhanced by Acrobat PDF files. Download the free Acrobat Reader

Note: The APA Publication Manual, 7 th Edition specifies different formatting conventions for student  and  professional  papers (i.e., papers written for credit in a course and papers intended for scholarly publication). These differences mostly extend to the title page and running head. Crucially, citation practices do not differ between the two styles of paper.

However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in  student style and one in  professional  style.

Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples. Those authored by [AF] denote explanations of formatting and [AWC] denote directions for writing and citing in APA 7. 

APA 7 Student Paper:

Apa 7 professional paper:.

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  • Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.

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.

Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.

APA |  MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography

  • Generate an automatic table of contents
  • Generate a list of tables and figures
  • Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
  • Insert page numbering

Table of contents

Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:

  • 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 APA running head on every page.
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.

The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.

APA title page - student version (7th edition)

Running head

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 running head (7th edition)

For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.

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.

APA headings (7th edition)

Reference page

APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.

APA reference page (7th edition)

Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.

Generate APA citations for free

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The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use title case capitalization for headings .

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:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
  • The course name or number
  • The due date of the assignment

MLA heading

Page header

A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.

MLA page header

Works Cited page

MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.

The format of the MLA Works Cited page

You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.

Generate MLA citations for free

The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger.
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.

Format of a Chicago Style paper

Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.

Example of a Chicago Style title page

Bibliography or reference list

Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.

The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.

Chicago bibliography

To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Include a title page
  • If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Apply APA heading styles
  • Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a reference page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
  • Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
  • Include a bibliography or reference list

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved August 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/

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How to Write References and Cite Sources in a Research Paper

24 Jun 2021

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❓Why You Should Include Citation Styles?

📑Standard Format of Reference Entry

✍️How to Cite an Online Source in an Article?

Citing your sources is the very first word of recommendation you would receive when you work on a Master's thesis, a publication, or a normal assignment. Search for the best tips on writing a research paper . Then look if there's the same form for magazine articles or a newspaper article. There's no one right way of doing it. Many establishments standardize it in education journals. However, publications like conferences and technical reports have somewhat rigid formatting requirements. From the year of publication to quotation marks, you'll find many different standards.

Therefore, it is ideal for Ph.D. students and future researchers to understand how to properly reference a journal article and other sources in their writing. It's crucial to credit your sources for a variety of reasons appropriately. One of the most crucial ones is quickly and readily showing readers and reviewers the perspective and applicability of your work. Read more to learn how to cite sources and write references in research articles.

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Why You Should Include Popular Citation Styles in a Research Paper?

It is essential to cite the sources of the same author when possible. References act as directional cues for whatever sort of modern language association or knowledge you use. Citing sources is a way to demonstrate to readers that a portion of the data in your writing is not original to you. Students can use this guide to help them decide what identifying information belongs on citation pages for most citation styles.

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Standard Format of Reference Entry

All formats from the end appear identical, except for the issue date. Keep in mind the following requirements when citing a source in a research article:

  • You should not count the cover page and any reference list page number in your assignment
  • Your assignment should be at least ten to twelve pages
  • At least cite eight sources in the article that should be dated from 2002 or after, preferably with volume number, chapter title, and website title.
  • Add five peer-reviewed journal publications with the year of publication.
  • You must use APA formation style, since footnotes are not permitted when citing sources;
  • Before turning in the assignment, don't forget to proofread it again for mistakes like punctuation marks, use of proper nouns, and mention of publication page numbers and headings.

Start writing research article citations in alphabetical order, beginning with only the name or author's surname, followed by the book title, website, or organization. Lines must be indented, even those contained in text citation takes, inside a single reference. These are a few instances:

  • Unites States. Literature Journal Department. Digital Article Review, 2 Vols. New York: Literature- Journal's Department, 2005.
  • John Stan, B. (2007, May 23). Aerial Yoga. Retrieved from direct URL

If you want to learn more about the in-text references list here, read further and learn a proper reference list entry.

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How to cite an online source in journal articles.

Learn about the many citation styles developed with this goal in mind to comprehend how to cite references in a journal article. For instance, liberal sciences use the Modern Language Association's (MLA) writing style, which was established for document layout, episode title, and source citation. The structure is followed by students writing English-language academic papers in Canada, the USA, and other nations. The following are some features of MLA, APA, and other citation styles:

APA Citation Style

Use APA Style if you are unsure of when to employ in-text citations. It references the guidelines published by the American Psychological Association to record references online documents and facilitate their comprehension. You must provide an in-text citation whenever you paraphrase or summarise a source.

For a reference page: "Establishing a regular practice, like exercising, can aid patients in their recovery from a sickness." APA, n.d. (American Psychological Association). Use an APA style citation maker to simplify your work. It may handle any task involving the creation of in-text citations or a complete reference that adheres to the criteria, including:

  • The proper citation of the author's name;
  • The author's name in the paragraph or in the parenthetical citations that follows the excerpt that is being referenced;
  • The name of the referenced authority should be followed by the publication date.

Students can also use page numbers to denote specific information in certain parts of a publication. Still, a page range usually is only used for direct quotations in APA style when a passage, or another component of the conference paper, is duplicated verbatim in a new research paper. For making appropriate reference list entries, you should follow APA guidelines.

MLA Citation Styles

  • Citations are concise and clear;
  • When referencing the work of another author, include a parenthetical citation.
  • The following lines should be four to seven spaces from the left margin rather than being indented from it for every new line;
  • List each alphabetically and sort them by source name or the author's last name;
  • When writing the names of sources, capitalize all words except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions.

Use a professional MLA Generator to hasten the creation of the bibliography and citation list for your research paper. There are many free MLA citation and reference generators available for research papers. When using them, you ought to take the following actions:

  • Select the type of source: scholarly articles, books, websites, newspapers, magazines, or movies. 
  • Add the author's and the publication's name, the title, the place, the edition, and the type of recording; 
  • After entering the relevant information, simply select "produce citation" to get it in the ideal format.

Simply use MLA style formatting , which does not require the URL or link, if citing information from a journal title a website is necessary. However, the professors do occasionally request it. Remember to reference sources in-text using the footnote format. Full citation examples include "Germany."International Affairs, US Department of State, Commute, 11 October 2012. Web. 5 March 2014.

Notes & Bibliography Style

You must use a higher number or superscript for this style. Often, these are used in complete sentences. With this technique, you can alert readers that a sentence incorporates information from another source. Each superscript links to an article title and a remark in the endnotes or footnotes.

The footnotes, bibliography , and author-date style citation formats are the same for all sources. The in-text reference is the only difference. In the latter, the author's last name and the year of publication are mentioned in-text rather than with a corresponding superscript.

The writing style is crucial for all assignments, including essays, theses, and research papers. There are many ways to cite a source, but the APA and MLA forms and their modifications are the most basic format often used. Pick out one, then use it on the papers. Likewise, keep the same format in mind for internal citations. The reader could be confused by the text if documentation styles and formats are mixed.

You must follow the guidelines if you are a student, but if you don't have enough time for a research project, utilize the online version of a professional research paper writing service . Obtain your work with minimum effort and good quality. Qualified authors will write it, and it will be completed on schedule.

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