Finished Research Paper With Author Date Format

Margins: Should be set at no less than 1" and no greater than 1.5" on all four edges of the page

Font:  Uniform typeface and font size. 12 point, roman, proportional serif font (such as Times or Palatino). Except for footnotes which should be in a smaller font (usually 10 pt.)

Line-spacing: Double-space throughout the paper, except for the following items which should be single-spaced

  • block quotations
  • table titles and figure captions

The following items should be single-spaced internally but with a blank line between items:

  • certain elements in the front matter, including the table of contents and any lists of figures, tables, and abbreviations
  • footnotes or endnotes
  • bibliographies or reference lists

Paragraphs and indentation: Indent all paragraphs consistently. Use tabs rather than spaces for indentation, columns of text, and other content requiring consistent alignment. Block quotations have their own rules for indentation, depending on whether they are prose or poetry.

Page numbers: Page numbers begin in the header of the first page of text with Arabic number 1. Do not number the title page. Page numbers are usually placed in one of three locations. Choose one of these locations and follow it consistently:

  • centered in the footer (at the bottom of the page),
  • centered in the header (at the top of the page), or
  • flush right in the header. 


For more details check out these paper guidelines:


This guide provides basic guidelines and examples for common citation styles used at Davidson College. When citing sources, always defer to the citation style required by your department or professor. You may need to consult thefull style manualor consult a librarian for complex citation questions.

Note: Throughout this guide you will find examples of how to cite online sources (ebooks, online journal articles, etc.). These rules are subject to change when citation styles are revised, so be sure to consult the most recent edition of a given citation manual.

  • AAA

    (American Anthropological Association). Used exclusively in anthropology. Based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

  • ACS

    (American Chemical Society) Specialized citation style used in chemistry.

  • AMA

    (American Medical Association) Citation style used primarily in medical writing.

  • APA

    (American Psychological Association) Used primarily in psychology and sociology.

  • Chicago: Notes & Bibliography

    (Documentation I) Used primarily in the humanities, especially in history. The Turabian style is based on the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

  • Chicago: Author-Date

    (Documentation II) Used primarily in the social sciences, especially economics and political science. Refer to this section for citing in APSA style (American Political Science Association) because APSA is adapted from the Chicago Author-Date style.


    (Council of Science Editors, formerly Council of Biology Editors) Used in various science disciplines, including physical and life sciences.

  • MLA

    (Modern Language Association) Used primarily in English and the humanities.

  • Davidson College Archival Sources

  • Style Manuals & Guides

  • Annotated Bibliographies

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