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Creating Templates

Creating A Template (MLA)

  • In Microsoft Word, click the File button and select New and choose Blank Document from the template selector.
  • All papers should be written in 12pt Times New Roman or Goudy Old Style.
  • Titles of longer works should be italicized while shorter works (such as poems) should be in quotations.

Margins

  • Click the Page Layout tab and select the Margins button.  In the drop down that opens, choose Normal.

Adding Double Spacing

  • Right-Click anywhere on your page and choose Paragraph from the drop down.  
  • In the dialog window that opens, ensure the Indents and Spacing tab is active and locate the Spacing section.
  • Choose Double from the Line Spacing drop down and click the check box that says "Don't add space to paragraphs of the same style."  Click OK.

Headers

  • Click the Insert tab and choose Header button and choose Edit Header.
  • In the header box, press tab twice to align your text to the right.  Type your last name and add a space.
  • From the Design tab (currently selected when editing headers and footers), click the Page Number button and select Current Position > Plain Number.
  • If your instructor requires it, you can remove the numbering from the first page by checking the Different First Page check box under the Design tab.
  • Click the Close Header and Footer button to return to normal editing mode.

First Page Heading

  • On the first page of your document, add the following:
    • Your name and year (e.x. Mark Twain '15)
    • Your instructor's name (Dr. Joseph Lemak)
    • The course name (WRT1010)
    • The date the paper is due (25 September 2011)
  • If your paper has a title, press return once and add your title centered using normal capitalization.

Works Cited Page

  • Go to the Insert tab and click the Page Break button.
  • On this new page, center the text and add the title "Works Cited" in the same font used throughout your paper.
  • Press enter once.
  • Right-Click anywhere on your page and choose Paragraph from the drop down.  
  • In the dialog window that opens, ensure the Indents and Spacing tab is active and locate the Indentation section.
  • Choose Hanging from the Special drop down.  Click OK.
  • The basic format for MLA is as follows:

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

Saving Your Document as a Template

  • Go to File and choose Save As.
  • In the dialog that opens, find the Save as Type drop down and choose Word Template (.dotx).
  • In the Folder selector on the right side of the Dialog, click Microsoft Word (towards the top) and select the Templates directory.
  • Name the document "mla.dotx".

Create a New File from a Template

  • Select File > New.
  • In the templates window, choose My Templates.
  • From the Dialog that opens, select the name of your new template (mla.dotx).
  • Your template is now open, make changes to reflect the current paper and begin working.

Creating A Template (APA)

  • In Microsoft Word, click the File button and select New and choose Blank Document from the template selector.
  • All papers should be written in 12pt Times New Roman or Goudy Old Style. (APA Style Guide recommends Times New Roman)
  • Titles of longer works should be italicized while shorter works (such as poems) should be in quotations.

Margins

  • Click the Page Layout tab and select the Margins button.  In the drop down that opens, choose Normal.

Adding Double Spacing

  • Right-Click anywhere on your page and choose Paragraph from the drop down.  
  • In the dialog window that opens, ensure the Indents and Spacing tab is active and locate the Spacing section.
  • Choose Double from the Line Spacing drop down and click the check box that says "Don't add space to paragraphs of the same style."  Click OK.

Headers

  • Click the Insert tab and choose Header button and choose Edit Header.
  • In the header box, type the TITLE OF YOUR PAPER (all caps), then press tab twice to align your text to the right (you can add your last name if your instructor prefers, but it is not recommended by the APA Style Guide).
  • From the Design tab (currently selected when editing headers and footers), click the Page Number button and select Current Position > Plain Number. This will be your title page.
  • If your instructor requires it, you can remove the numbering from the first page by checking the Different First Page check box under the Design tab.
  • Click the Close Header and Footer button, under the Insert tab, click the Page Break button.
  • Click back into the header on the first page. Under the Design tab, check the Different First Page check box.  Format the header on the first page of your paper (the title page) to be as follows:
    Running Head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER (press tab twice) then enter page number by clicking the Page Number button and selecting Current Position > Plain Number.
  • Click the Close Header and Footer button to return to normal editing mode.

Title Page

  • Centered on the title page of your document (page 1), include the following:
    • The title of your paper (Keep under 12 words, per APA recommendation)
    • Your Name
    • Location where research as conducted.

Abstract Page

  • Go to the Insert tab and click the Page Break button.
  • On this new page, center the text and add the title "Abstract" in the same font used throughout your paper.
  • Press enter twice.
  • The abstract is a summary of the key points of your research.  Keep this section within 150-250 words.  Do not indent.

The Main Content

  • Go to the Insert tab and click the Page Break button.
  • Begin typing your paper.
  • Many APA papers include headings to different sections. Refer to the Owl at Purdue website to see how to write headings.

References Page

  • Go to the Insert tab and click the Page Break button.
  • On this new page, center the text and add the title "References" in the same font used throughout your paper.
  • Press enter once.
  • Right-Click anywhere on your page and choose Paragraph from the drop down.  
  • In the dialog window that opens, ensure the Indents and Spacing tab is active and locate the Indentation section.
  • Choose Hanging from the Special drop down.  Click OK.
  • The basic format for APA is as follows:

Author's last name, first initial. (Publication date). Book title. Additional information. City of publication: Publishing company.

Saving Your Document as a Template

  • Go to File and choose Save As.
  • In the dialog that opens, find the Save as Type drop down and choose Word Template (.dotx).
  • In the Folder selector on the right side of the Dialog, click Microsoft Word (towards the top) and select the Templates directory.
  • Name the document "mla.dotx".

Create a New File from a Template

  • Select File > New.
  • In the templates window, choose My Templates.
  • From the Dialog that opens, select the name of your new template (mla.dotx).
  • Your template is now open, make changes to reflect the current paper and begin working.

More Information

This guide offers only a basic look at the formatting requirements for MLA and APA. For more information on using these citations, please visit the following websites or visit the Elmira College Research Help Desk.
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