Term Paper Format: 10 FAQs

February 23, 2016 in Personal life
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Most students find term paper writing confusing because of the scarce knowledge of the term paper format basics. Some people just get scared of writing, when they hear the requirements of writing in APA term paper format or MLA term paper format. What is more, proper formatting counts for the 15 percent of the entire grade. So, what to do if you are not familiar with any type of the term paper format? Here is the solution! Our FAQ is developed specifically for those, who need the emergency help with formatting! Here, you will find the basics, and also, we have included the useful links, where you can get the detailed explanations to formatting issues!


1. What are the most commonly used term paper formatting styles?

In general, students may be required to submit papers in APA, MLA, Turabian, Oxford or Chicago style. However, the most used formats in academic world are considered the APA term paper format and MLA term paper format. Both APA and MLA styles require double-spacing, 1-inch margins on all sides of the page and clear 12 pt sized font, like Times New Roman or Arial. Each page should contain a number, located in a right-upper corner of the page.

2. What is the MLA style term paper format?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. The key feature of the MLA term paper format is that an in-text citation should be placed directly after the quote. The citation should provide the last name of the cited author and the page number of this quote appearing in the original source. Of course, all the used materials should be listed at the end of the paper under the name “Works Cited Page”.

3. Where can I find the rules and requirements for MLA style term paper format?

If you want to use the most comprehensive guide for MLA formatting, our suggestion is to use this guide https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. There, you could find the up-to-date and complete information regarding the referencing any type of sources, including print books, electronic sources, magazines, videos and presentations. Besides, there are sample papers formatted according to the MLA term paper format requirements, sample PowerPoint Presentations, and the explanations of how to format figures, tables and appendixes in the paper.

4. What is the APA term paper format?

APA stands for American Psychological Association, which also has its own requirements for paper formatting. APA is the example of author-date style, where the in-text citation that comes after the closing set of quotation marks contains the last name of the author and the year of the publication. In some cases, the page numbers are also included. The reference page is called “References”. Besides, each page of the text should contain the running headers with the title of the work. The paper usually starts with an abstract.

5. What is the best source to learn about the APA style term paper format?

If you are required to format your paper in APA style, there is a good source with all the necessary information, samples, and explanations and updates https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.

6. What are the requirements for the title page in MLA term paper format?

In MLA style, if otherwise is not requested by the instructor, the paper does not have a title page. The upper-lest corner of the first page should contain the name of the student, the name of the instructor, the course and the date. The double-spacing should be applied to these lines. Then, it is required to put the title of the paper after the double space. The title should use normal capitalization (there is no need to use italics, or capitalize each word of the title) ad be located to the center of the line. The text of the paper starts after the double-spacing after the title. Here is the sample first page in MLA style:

sample MLA First Page

 7. What are the requirement for the title page in APA term paper format?

APA style requires the title page of a certain format. The upper left side corner of the page should contain the phrase: Running Head: TITLE OF THE PAPER. All letters should be capitalized. The upper right corner should contain the number of the page. The central part of the page should contain the title of the paper (All words capitalized), the name of the student and the name of the educational institution. The sample title page for the APA style term paper is shown here:

SampleTitle Page for the APA style Term Paper

 8. How looks the “Works cited” list in MLA format?

All entries in the Works cited page should be listed in alphabetical order. The source starts with the last name of the author followed by the comma and the first name. Titles or degrees (Mr, Mrs, PhD) are not included.

The basic form for a book citation is:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

The example of the book citation is:

Filmer, James. Eternity: What is in Our Mind? New York: Penguin, 1987. Print.

Another type of literature that is often used by authors is web pages or electronic sources. MLA does not require including the link to the material. It is essential only to mention that it is a web source. However, if the instructor insists on full link, it is possible to include it in an angle brackets after the date of access.

The basic format and the example of a web source citation without link:

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.

Kerner, Alisia. The Writing Technologies in Our Life, 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

If your instructor requires a link, just insert the address in an angle brackets after the date.

9. How looks the “References” page in APA format?


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number (issue number if available). Retrieved from

10. What are the examples of in-text citations in APA and MLA formats?

In APA, the in-text citation will look as follows:

According to Mankiw (1998), "Students often misinterpret economic basics, especially when their level of knowledge is not on the top" (p. 199).

In MLA, the in-text citation of the same author will have the following form:

“Students often misinterpret economic basics, especially when their level of knowledge is not on the top” (Mankiw 199).


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