Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

AMA Guide - 11th Edition: Paper Formatting

Explicit instructions for paper format are not given in the AMA manual because publishers provide specific requirements for submitted manuscripts. 

These research paper format recommendations are based on the manual content, but the library staff recommend that you follow any specific formatting instructions provided by your instructor. 

Note: Your professor may have specific or additional requirements not listed in this guide.

AMA Paper Formatting Checklist

General Format

  • Margins are 1 inch on all sides. 
  • Paper is double spaced throughout.
  • Use a serif typeface such as Times New Roman. 
  • Use a 12pt font size for the body text. 
  • Pages are numbered consecutively, right aligned in the header, excluding the first/title page.  

Title Page

  • Text is center aligned
  • Full title of the paper begins roughly 1/4 down the page. 
  • Author name(s)
  • Couse Number - Course Name
  • Assignment: Assignment Name
  • Affiliated institution

Body

  • Use section and subsection headings to organize content.
    • Introduction
      • Body Paragraphs
      • Summary
    • References
  • Section headings are bold and left aligned. 
  • Subsection headings are italicized and left aligned. 
  • The first line of each paragraph is indented 1/2 inch.
  • There is no extra line space between paragraphs or headings. 

Reference List

  • References heading is bold and left aligned at the top of the page.
  • References are left aligned. 
  • References are numbered in the order they are first cited in the body of the paper. 
  • A tab space separates the number and the first name or word of the reference. 

Tables & Figures

Each table is assigned a number based on the order it is used in the article. Following the table number (and just above the table itself) should be a clear but concise title.  All elements in the table are in sentence case.

Footnotes are listed at the bottom of the table, each on its own line. However, to save space, tables with more than a few footnotes can use 2 columns for the footnotes.

Example:

An example of an AMA table. 

For more information on formatting and when to use tables, see the Tables Components section of the AMA Manual online. 

Similar to tables, each figure is assigned a number based on the order it is used in the article. Types of figures include, but are not limited to, graphs, charts, maps, drawings, and photographs. Some figures use symbols to represent data, and those figures use legends embedded in the graphic to explain those symbols. 

Following the figure number (and just above the figure itself) should be a clear but concise title.  All elements in the table are in sentence case.

Example:

 

For more examples and guidelines for how and when to use figures in a paper, see the Figures section of the AMA Manual online.

Do I use an appendix in AMA?

Appendices are not regularly used in AMA. AMA formatting prefers that the information, if relevant to the article, be included in the body of the article as a table or figure.  If the appendix is important, AMA favors publishing them online as online only, supplemental materials.  

The AMA Manual of Style does note that an appendix may be used "on rare occasions...for data that cannot easily be represented as a table or figure and are too central to the article to be deposited elsewhere".  The appendix is included at the end of the paper but before the references. Sources for any materials in an appendix are then included in the reference list. 

When an appendix is included in an article, it is cited in the text like a table or figure.  

Example: This kitchen is rated a 5 on the Hazard Scale (Appendix 1). 

Format an appendix the same way you would start a reference list, with "Appendix" at the top left of a new page. If there is more than one appendix, start each on a new page. Appendices are numbered and organized by the order they are referred to in the body of the article.

Example: 

Appendix 1

Hazard Scale

  • 1 - The room is completely safe and the likelihood of being injured is very low.
  • 2 - The room is relatively safe, but injury is likely if one is inattentive to the environment.
  • 3 - The room is completely unsafe and injury or illness is very likely.