13 Tips on How to Make an APA Format of Your Online Essay Google Docs

Online Essay Google Docs

Writing plays a significant role in student life. People have to write a multitude of papers to demonstrate they understand the topic and can organize any essay according to the given instructions. To do that, they should know which formatting style to follow. Indubitably, several main formats exist these days. And it depends on your major, which one to choose and follow. Some people can ask a professional writer: “Please, write my essay for me!” Others can try to do it by themselves.

Among the primary styles are Chicago, Harvard, MLA, which stands for Modern Language Association, and, of course, APA, American Psychological Association. The article aims to demonstrate handy tips, tricks, and instructions on how to make an APA format of your essay in Google Docs quickly and efficiently.

What Is APA For?

Different subjects require unique formatting styles to use. American Psychological Association is widely used by people who study or operate within the Social Science field. There are many disciplines related to Social Sciences, including but not limited to Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, Linguistics, and Economics. APA has exclusive features, such as in-text and end-text citations, font, title, and reference page.

APA Rules

Educational institutions may change instructions concerning APA. That is, professors can require writing essays using a different font or titles. That is why you are highly encouraged to clarify it before proceeding to the assignment. Nonetheless, a default set of rules for APA writing is as follows:

  • Double-spaced text without gaps between sections
  • The paper follows Times New Roman 12 font (some colleges allow students to change the font to Calibri or Arial; however, an experienced online essay service confirms that Times New Roman is the prevalent font)
  • The first page must have the writer’s first and second name, the topic, and the college the student belongs to
  • Body paragraphs have an indentation of a ½ inch
  • The essay has a one-inch margin from every side
  • The header shows the title and the page number
  • In-text citations without page numbers for indirect quotations
  • In-text citations with page numbers for direct quotations
  • Reference Page with sources used

Looking For The APA Template In Google Docs

If you are lucky enough, you can find a complete template in Google Docs. The thing is, there are two camps of people who can and can’t find the template. You can try finding it by going to the Files section, choosing New, and then clicking on Find template. Once you click, Google Docs will take you to a new tab with an extensive list of templates.

Try scrolling down until you find the Education section. You might find an APA document there. If you do, select it, and you will see a text showing what your essay will look like in the long run. Conversely, if you can’t find the template, no need to worry. Make sure to read the following ten rules instead to craft an APA document in the blink of an eye.

How To Make An APA Format In Google Docs Manually

If you want to create an APA paper yourself, you have to change the font from Arial to Times New Roman 12. Now, as your document has a standard font, you are ready to structure the entire piece by following this strategy:

  1. Click Insert on the top left and choose You can also do that by pressing Ctrl+Alt+H or Ctrl+Alt+O.
  2. Change the font. Every header and footer appears in Arial 11. Change it to Times New Roman 12.
  3. Set up page numbers. Go to Insert, indicate Page numbers and click Page number.
  4. Align the page number with the top-right margin. You can do that by clicking the spacebar or tab. When you complete it, mark the Different first page. The first page doesn’t have to identify the page number.
  5. Type “Running head:” before the title. Once you do that, write the title and make sure the page number goes right after the title.
  6. Choose spacing. APA requires double-spaced lines. Choose Format, then click Spacing, and select
  7. Write the title on the first page. Go to the mid-page and choose Center Align. Write the paper’s topic, your credentials, and the educational institution on separate lines.
  8. Start a new page by pressing Enter + Ctrl or clicking Select, then Break, and Page break.
  9. Choose Center Align and type An abstract is needed if your assignment is extensive. Clarify if you need it before writing the essay. In case you do need it, write the abstract and press Enter + Ctrl to start a new page.
  10. Press Tab to indent the text and start the first paragraph. Indent every section to divide the paper to avoid blocks of text.

Make Sure In-Text Citations Are Correct

Unlike MLA, you don’t need to include page numbers of sources you paraphrase. American Psychological Association requires adding the scholar’s last name and publication year if the quote is indirect. In case you add a direct quote, you are obliged to give the page number. The citation can be placed at the beginning as well as the end of the sentence. Take a look:

According to Hazen (2014), “a good research question builds on what has been done before, adds to what we know about the topic, is practical and doable, is clear and simple” (p. 10).

Scholars have to pay close attention to various methods of sociolinguistic research (Haze, 2014).

The first citation is direct and indicates the page number where this quote can be found. In turn, the second citation is paraphrased and only refers to the source the writer used.

The Last Page Is Crucial

Every formatting style has unique referencing methods. The same goes for the last page, where the writer enlists the sources they have used. MLA has a Works Cited page, whereas Chicago has Bibliography. APA has a page called References. It should be found on a separate page. When crafting the References page, make sure to sort materials alphabetically by the author’s last name. Moreover, if the book, article, journal, or any other source has more than one line, the second and subsequent ones must be indented. For instance:

Alexopoulou, T., Michel, M., Murakami, A., & Meurers, D. (2017). Task Effects on Linguistic Complexity and Accuracy: A Large-Scale Learner Corpus Analysis Employing Natural Language Processing Techniques. Language Learning, 67(S1), 180–208. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12232

Bender, E. M. (2013). Linguistic fundamentals for natural language processing: 100 essentials from morphology and syntax. Morgan & Claypool, Cop.

HackerEarth. (2016, September 26). Components and implementations of Natural Language Processing. Medium. https://medium.com/@hackerearth/components-and-implementations-of-natural-language-processing-8ba2b39c4ffe

Jurafsky, D., & Martin, J. H. (2014). Speech and language processing: an introduction to natural language processing, computational linguistics, and speech recognition. Dorling Kindersley Pvt, Ltd.

You have to format the hanging indent to make every second and the following line indented. To do that, click on the blue triangle located on the ruler and slide it until it stops at the first vertical line right after 1. Then click on the blue line over the triangle and slide it back to the gray area so that it is half on the gray and half on the white side.


Not only do students have to reveal the topic and/or answer the posed question, but they also have to meet the formatting style. The mentioned revolutionary tips will decrease the time spent adjusting the paper to APA format.