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Psychology: Formatting your Paper

Formating Checklist

♦ Margins - Standards 1" on all sides

♦ Fonts:  serif fonts:  Times New Roman 12 point, Georgia 11 point; san serif fonts: Calibri or Arial 11 point

♦ Double Spaced throughout

♦ Center Title, Author and School (school is optional this year) about 2" from top of page 

♦ Start a new page after the title page (Insert--> Page Break)

♦  1/2"  (5 spaces)  tab indent for every paragraph

♦ Start a new page for References (Insert --> Page Break)

♦ The word, "References" is centered at the top of the reference page

♦ List references alphabetically -- Zotero should do this automatically

♦ References use a hanging indent -- Zotero should do this automatically



  • 1" all sides, the entire document
  • 1/2" indent for every paragraph
  • 1/2" indent Long Quotations (> 40 words) only on left

Text formatting

  • serif fonts:  Times New Roman 12 point, Georgia 11 point
  • san serif fonts: Calibri or Arial 11 point
  • One space after:
    • Commas, colons, & semicolons
    • Periods that separate parts of reference citation
    • Periods at end of sentences (APA, 7th ed)

Title Page

  • Title is typed in title case (upper and lower case letters)
  • Title should be no longer than 12 words
  • Centered about 2" below header
  • Center the author name directly below the title
    • First name, middle initial, last name
  • Center the institutional name directly below the author (optional)

Intext Citations

  • If you use Zotero to create your in-text citations, you will get a matching reference list
  • Unless it is a direct quote, only need the author's last name and date (Smith, 2019)
  • If you use the author's name in the sentence, you only need the date (2019), immediately after the author's name  Smith (2019) found ...
  • Include the page number for a direct quote [this is rare]  (Smith, 2009, p.10)

Reference Page

  • Start a new page
  • Center the word, "References" centered at the top of the page
  • Double-space all references
  • Use a hanging indent

Adapted from the American Psychological Association (2019) Publication manual (7th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Formatting Tutorial

Is Word spliting a URL?

Is Word moving a URL to its own line on the reference list?

URL space issue

Fix this by adding a 'No width optional break'.

  1. In Word, position the cursor at a natural breaking point in the URL, for instance after a slash or period.
  2. Select 'Insert' and click 'Symbols'.
  3. Select 'More symbols' and click 'Special characters' tab.
  4. Select 'No-width Optional Break' and click 'Insert'.
  5. Reference should now appear similar to this:

URL with no width optional marker