Formatting Research Papers For Apa Style With Ms Word 2010

School is starting, which means you’re starting to write papers again–formatted exactly in the style that’s required by your professor.

Exactly, and you might be writing these papers for a quarter, a semester, or an entire year. That’s a lot of formatting.

How to make it easier? After you have all the style-specific settings chosen in Word, save those settings as the default settings. You can set defaults for margins, line spacing, and other document elements.

If you don’t want to change the default settings, you can save your first paper as a template. Then you can open your template whenever you need to begin a new paper.

The two most common styles are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). In Word 2010, Service Pack 1, the Word Bibliography feature supports APA Sixth Edition and MLA Seventh Edition. (If you don’t see those choices, be sure to install the service pack.)

The Word Bibliography feature also supports Chicago Fifteenth Edition and Harvard – Anglia 2008.

For more information about bibliographies in Word, including how to choose a bibliography style, see Create a bibliography and 5 bibliography tips.

With any specific style, be sure to visit the website to catch all of that style’s details. The APA Style website has a lot of materials, including a tutorial, so you can make sure that you’re doing it right. And the MLA website has lists of frequently asked questions.

Want more tips and tools for starting back to school? Visit the Office in Education blog.

— Joannie Stangeland

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.To add double-spacing in Microsoft Word, highlight all the text you want double-spaced, then click on Page Layout. Next to the word Paragraph click on the arrow. Under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Double and then click OK.

Put two spaces after the period for each sentence in the body of the paper (Note, use only one space after a period in your references at the end of the paper). Microsoft Word does not have a setting to automatically put in two spaces at the end of a sentence, but you can set-up the grammar check to alert you when only one space is used. In Word 2007, click on File, then click Options. Next, click on Proofing. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, click on Settings. Next to Spaces required between sentences, change the setting to 2. Click OK to exit. This setting will alert you to single spaces after a period with the green squiggle that shows when there is a grammar error in your paper.

Leave 1 in. margins from top to bottom and side to side. Microsoft Word usually is set to 1 in. margins. You can check this by clicking on Page Layout, then click on Margins. The margin you are using is highlighted, select Normal if it is not already selected. 

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