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AMA @ Sullivan University: Paper Sections & Formatting

Guide to AMA citation style

Paper Format

Instructions on format for AMA are not explicitly stated in the AMA Manual of Style. Use the following guidelines as a rough estimate only, and seek your professor's expertise or refer to the assignment description for more concrete support.

  • Margins: One inch margins. Leave the right margin unjustified.
  • Line Spacing: Single space within the abstract, notes, titles and headings, block quotes, tables and figures, and references (everything but the main text), double space before and after each single spaced block. Block paragraph spacing is recommended for final manuscripts.
  • Fonts: JAMA specifies a 12-point or 10-point font. There is no requirement for the typeface. A serif font is commonly used in publication (eg, Times Roman). A sans serif font often looks good in draft manuscripts.
  • Indents: Half-inch indents
  • Page Numbers: Every page of a research paper is numbered consecutively, starting with the title page. Do not change numbering systems through the text, even with lengthy data sets or appendixes. Place page numbers in the top right-hand corner throughout. 
  • Headers: A short title header goes at the top of the page in the left margin. 

AMA Paper Sections

Titles should be concise, specific, and informative. 

  • Avoid: Reliability and Validity of Mobile Teledermatology
  • Better Assessment of Reliability and Validity of Mobile Teledermatology in HIV-Positive Patients in Botswana

For more information see the AMA Manual of Style 11th edition, section 2.1.

Title Page Content

The title page is the first page of your paper. The title page consists of:

  1. Paper title
  2. Author (your name)
  3. Your department and institutional affiliation (Example: Department of Radiology, Sullivan University)
  4. The course number and course name (Example: ENG 101: Composition I)
  5. Instructor name
  6. Assignment due date
  7. Page number in top right corner

APA Student title page

Set up your Title Page

  1. Place the title three to four lines down from the top of the page.
  2. Center the title and type it in bold font. Capitalize major words.
  3. Set the whole paper to be double spaced and use the font specified by your instructor.
  4. Place one blank line between the title and author name.

Student papers do not require an abstract or keywords unless requested by the professor.

Page Header

For publication, print or PDF pages carry the bibliographic information for the article. Successive pages may also include a shortened version of the article title. 

Bibliographic Information on First PageJAMA Neurol. 2014:71(8)961-970. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.803

Published online June 2, 2014.

Running Foot on Successive PagesJAMA Neurology August 2014 Volume 71, Number 8

For more information see the AMA Manual of Style 11th edition, section 2.4


The abstract of a research report summarizes the main points of an article:

  1. The study objective or importance
  2. The study design and methods
  3. The primary results
  4. The principle conclusions

For more information see the AMA Manual of Style 11th edition, section 2.5

Paper Body / Main Content

The body of the paper contains your main ideas. Most papers include an introduction, the main content, and a conclusion.

To set up the main body of the paper:

  1. Start a new page after the title page.

  2. On the first line, write the title of the paper in bold. Center the title and use title case (capitalize all proper nouns).

  3. The text should be left-aligned and double spaced.

  4. Indent each paragraph by pressing the "tab" button when you start the first sentence. 

NOTE: Some instructors require headings for sections of a paper.


References credit the work of other authors and direct readers to additional resources. 

To format the reference page:

  1. Center the word References in bold at the top of the page.

  2. Place your references in alphabetical order.

  3. Select all of the references and set them to be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

For more information see the AMA Manual of Style 11th edition, section 3.0.