General Guidelines for Page Layout

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The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) provides the basis for formatting the research paper, reports, and essay used commonly in Science related courses.

General Guidelines for Page Layout

Some of the guidelines are identical to those laid out in MLA style:

  • Type on plain white 8.5” x 11” paper (no coloured or patterned paper)

  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font

  • Use the same font throughout for titles and other headers as well as the main text

  • The entire paper, including headings, all quotations, and References should be double line spaced

  • Do not bold, or underline titles

  • Indent the first line of new paragraphs; do not put extra line spaces between them

  • Leave one or two spaces after punctuation; be consistent throughout your work

  • Set margins to 1 inch on all sides (except for the running head and page number)

Title Page

  • The running head and page number appear on the title page and on each subsequent page on the same line about ½ inch from the top of the page

  • On the title page ONLY, the words Running head: (followed by a colon) are included before the shortened version of the essay title, which is written in all caps.

  • The running head is left-aligned; the page number is right-aligned

  • Type your report/essay title in upper and lowercase letters, horizontally centered in the upper half of the title page below the header

  • APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it contain only essential words with no abbreviations. If the essay title requires two or more lines, double-space between the lines.

  • Under the title, type your name in upper and lower case, first name then last name.

  • *If your teacher instructs you to do so, include his/her name below.

  • Next, include the name of the educational institution (secondary school).

Sample Title Page

Running head: HITLER’S RISE 1

Causes of the Rise of Adolf Hitler

Alec Smart
St. Joan of Arc C.S.S.

Running head with capitalized short title on the left and page number aligned with right margin.


Author and school

Abstract Page
The second page is the Abstract for the paper. It is a brief (100 -150 words) comprehensive summary of the research paper.


Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany as the result of a series of factors and events that occurred in Germany during the Great Depression. These factors included a disastrous economic downturn in Germany . .

  • The running head and the page number are typed in the left and right margins at the top of the page.

  • The title “Abstract” is centred on this page, double-line-spaced below the header. Type the abstract as a single paragraph in block format (without paragraph indentation).

NOTE: The teacher may make this page optional. If so, then page 2 will become your first page of text.

Setup of Second and Subsequent Pages

  • The ‘body’ of your writing always begins on a new page. The running head—capitalized short version of the essay title – appears on every page of the essay, left-aligned, while the page number appears on the same line, but against the right margin.


    Causes of the Rise of Adolf Hitler
    The First World War had a devastating impact on Germany.
    Millions of Germans lost their lives, the economy was in ruins
    and the people of the nation felt humiliated. Germans sought a
    leader to rescue them from this turmoil . . .

  • Horizontally centre the title.

  • Do not underline, bold or use all capital letters for your title here.

  • Every new paragraph is indented.

  • Do not create extra lines between paragraphs.

  • Do not start a new page when you use a subheading.

Notes on Writing Style

  • Do not use personal pronouns; (“I, me, we”) unless you are writing about a research study that you did yourself. Then you can use “I” instead of “the researcher.”

  • Do not address the reader as “you.” (“You will see …”)

  • Although APA advises university authors to use different verb tenses in different parts of the paper, high school students should write their APA papers consistently in either past verb tense (jumped) or present perfect verb tense (have jumped)

  • Do not use contractions. Use “do not” and “is not,” instead of “don’t” and “isn’t.”

  • Never use slang, colloquialisms or text messaging forms (unless within a quotation).

  • Refer to authors mentioned in your work by their last name or their first and last names.

  • The date a resource was published is very important in APA style. If your source does not have a date, it is often not a valid source

  • You may find it useful to organize information using subheadings


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