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A Quick Guide To Common Term Paper Writing Formats

There is usually a certain format that your teacher wants you to write your paper in. Two of the major formatting styles that you may have to use is the MLA format and the APA format. The Modern Language Association format is usually used in the Humanities and Liberal Arts degree programs and the American Psychological Association format is usually used in the Social Science degree programs.

Here is a quick guide that will explain how to write your paper in either of these formats. It will describe the differences and similarities in the two. It is important to understand how to format your paper so that they don’t lose points for putting your title in the wrong spot.


  • You need to type your paper on a standard sheet of paper and make sure that it is double spaced.
  • The margins should be one inch on all sides and each paragraph should be indented an extra half an inch.
  • Use a legible font like Times New Roman or any type that has a significant difference between the regular font and the italicized font.
  • The header should include the page numbers in the upper right hand corner of the paper.
  • There should be no title page but the title, name, instructor’s name, course name, and date should be in the upper left hand of the paper right before the text starts.
  • Citation page is called “Works Cited” and should be listed on a separate page after the main text.


  • The paper should be typed on a standard piece of paper. It should be double spaced, as well with one inch margins on all sides.
  • A legible font should be used just like in the MLA format. It is recommended that Times New Roman font be used in the 12 point font size.
  • The page should include a page header that includes the title of your paper on the left hand side of the page and the page number on the right hand side. The title should be no more than fifty characters and follows the words “running head”.
  • The paper should include a title page separate from the rest of the text and a bibliography separate as well. The title page will list the title, name, and institutional affiliation.

The citations for these formats are very specific. Therefore, you should refer to the formatting guide to make sure that you do it correctly. Many resource libraries will offer the option to give the proper citation in many different formats that you can copy and paste for the citation’s page.

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