Easy Research Paper Formatting Guide

Research paper formatting is different, and it depends on the style guide that you are currently following. You can have the page layout, heading format, reference page format, and font choices, which can be provided by various forms of guidelines like APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Formatting research paper APA style

  • Set 1-inch margins on every page.
  • Use standard fonts like the Times New Roman 12 point.
  • Indent every Paragraph by half inches.
  • Use double line spacing.
  • Insert running head on each page if you are submitting the paper to get published. APA style research paper formatting requires you to have a running head on every page if you’re presenting your paper for publication. Running heads are not required for student papers unless the lecturer has given you the instruction to include them.

Reference page

Using the APA Style, the citation will require you to input the author and date in the in-text citations in the whole text and include a reference page at the very end. The reference entries will vary in format depending on the type of source that you have used. If you are having trouble writing your citations, you can use the free citation generator to assist you.

MLA guidelines for Formatting a research paper

  • Use 1-inch margins on every page
  • Utilize double lines in spacing.
  • Use a readable font like the Times New Roman 12 point.
  • Capitalize the headings or titles.
  • Indent all your paragraphs by half inches.

MLA Research paper formatting instructions

  1. First page

On your first page of the MLA paper, you need to have a heading above the title of your work, which will feature your name, your supervisor or instructor, the name of the course and number, and the assignment’s deadline.

  1. Page header

You need to have a header that appears on every page within the paper, and it must include the page number and your surname.

  1. Citation page

The in-text citation in MLA papers will appear wherever you refer to any source within the text. You need to have a proper citation format for research paper. Your reference page will come at the end of the paper, and it will have a complete list of all the sources you have used to develop your essay. If you have trouble with the reference page, you can easily create your citations using the free citation generator for MLA.

Chicago research paper formatting

Formatting a research paper Chicago requires the following:

  • Apply the double line spacing
  • Place your page numbers at the top right of your page or the bottom center.
  • Indent any paragraph by half an inch.
  • Utilize one-inch margins on every page

Title page

The Chicago style does not require any title page, but you can do so if you feel like including the one.


There are two citation styles for the Chicago formatting Style. You can either use the author’s citations and include a reference list or use the footnote citations and include a bibliography. You need to select just one Style and be consistent with its use all through your paper. The bibliography or reference list may appear at the very end of the text.

You need to format your paper correctly to avoid making mistakes or losing marks. When it comes to the reference page, you must ensure that you include all the sources you used within your favor because lecturers are always strict about the section. If you fail to reference, you might fall victim to plagiarism, a severe offense in academics. You must adequately format all the pages of your paper to present a crisp and easy-to-read paper that will also contribute knowledge to the academic fraternity.

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