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CJS4030 Criminal Justice Research Methods (Sabot): Research Proposal Formatting

APA Formatting

APA Style: General Guidelines



1)      Double-space entire document

2)      Left Justify all of your text.

a.       Indent each paragraph.  You an either click a tab at the start of each paragraph, or use the ruler.  Put the top slider ½ inch in and leave the second slider as is (see below)

3)      Margins

a.       Use 1-inch margins throughout (top, bottom, left, right)

b.      Click File, Page Setup, Margins.  Fill the appropriate blanks with “1”.

4)      Header - In case your paper becomes unclipped or unstapled (note: please staple or paper clip your paper prior to turning it in), you need to have a consistent header on all pages.  APA style is to use the first two or three words of the title, then a few spaces, then the page number.  To create the header:

·         Go to the View menu, and select Header and Footer.

·         Click on the right justification button in the main toolbar.

·         Type your header, then press the spacebar 5 times.

·         Click on the “page numbering” button in the Header and Footer toolbar.  It is the little number sign (pound key on your cell phone). 

·         Click on “Close” in the Header and Footer toolbar to return to the main body of your text.

Every page of the report will now have the same header as the title page (with different page numbers.

5)      Use a single font type font size (12 pt) throughout your paper.


Other useful tips

1.   Use only one font (and only one font size, preferably 12) throughout the entire document.

2.   Do not use contractions (e.g., “don’t,” “aren’t,” “I’ve”).

3.   Only use abbreviations for long terms.  The first time the term appears, give the abbreviation in parentheses, and use   the abbreviation every time thereafter.  For example: “The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used in all of the studies.  When other measures of depression were used, they were used in conjunction with the BDI.”

4.   (almost) No quotes!!!  You will see very few quotes in journal articles.  There are several reasons for this.  First, we are not in the business of interpreting text like you might be for an English literature paper.  Second, I am not interested in what some other researchers think about an issue, or how some other researcher describes their work or its significance.  I’m interested in what you think and how you describe and interpret ideas in the literature. 

5.   Talk about experiments in the past tense.  They have already happened.

6.  ‘While’ and ‘since’ refer to time; substitute ‘although’ and ‘because’.