How to format an academic research paper?

When you write an academic research paper, formatting it properly is vital so that your work is taken seriously. Many academic research papers are formatted with MLA style, which is what we will discuss here. When your paper is formatted correctly, you can then send it for academic editing services to ensure it is perfect before you submit it.


Margins should be one inch at the top, bottom, and sides. If you want to submit a paper that is bigger than 8.5 x 11, you should not print text in an area that is bigger than 6.5 x 9.

Text Formatting

It is important to choose a typeface that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman where the regular type contrasts with the italic. Set it to a standard 12 point size. You should not justify the lines of text at the right margin. Also, shut off the automatic hyphenation part of your editing program.

Doublespace your research paper, including any quotations, notes, and list of works you cite. Indent the first line of every paragraph ½ inch from the left margin. Leave one space after every period and other concluding punctuation marks.

Heading and Title

Starting one inch from the top of your first page and flush with your left margin, put your name, instructor’s name, course number, and date on separate lines with double spaces between each.

You should not need a title page but if this is a group work, you may want a title page and list all the authors there rather than the page one header.

Page Numbers

Each page in the research paper should be numbered consecutively in the upper-right-hand corner. The number should be a half-inch from the top and flush with your right margin. Type your last name, then a space, before the page number. Some editing programs let you create a running head like this on each page. Some professors and editors do not want a running head on the first page.

Works Cited

Your works cited appears at the paper’s conclusion after your endnotes, if any. Begin your works cited on a new page. The list should have the same running head as the text of your paper.

Begin each work cited entry flush with your left margin. If the entry is more than one line, indent the next line half an inch from the left margin.