The top, bottom, and both sides of the page must have 1-inch margins according to the MLA and APA style manuals. When you launch Microsoft Word, the margins are usually set to one inch. However, if you want your pages to look more like books, then you should increase the margins so they're not crammed up against other pages or the side of the document window.
In addition, the footer and header should have margins too. The header is where we type title information for the page while the footer is where we store page numbers and reports. These items also need margins so they don't run into the next page.
Finally, the body of the document should have no margin-left, right, or bottom. This is because each page of a book or article is separated by at least one inch of space so that the reader can turn the page easily. If you leave any margin, it will cause problems when you print out the document.
So, to answer the question "how big should my margins be?" It depends on how much space you want between each page of your report. If you plan to print all of your documents, then you should ensure that the page margins are at least an inch on all four sides of the page.
For an APA Style paper, use 1-inch margins on both sides of the page. If you are writing a dissertation or thesis, your adviser or school may require you to use various margins (e.g., a 1.5-inch left margin to accommodate binding). Check with them first before formatting your paper.
Click on the Page Layout tab to ensure that the margins are set to one inch. A drop-down menu appears when you click on Margins. From here, you can change the page margin size to anything between 0.5 and 8 inches.
If you are writing a dissertation or thesis, your adviser or school may require you to use various margins (e.g., a 1.5-in. left margin to accommodate binding). This is the same advice as in the sixth version. (2019). The Chicago Manual of Style: 14th edition. University of Chicago Press.
Word defaults to 1 inch margins on the left, right, top, and bottom. I've shown the top, left, and right margins in the screenshot below. If you type the entire page, Word will also leave a 1-inch bottom margin. The width of the paper determines how much space there is between each paragraph.
XII. The top and bottom margins in Microsoft Word 2013 are one inch, while the left and right margins are one inch. To adjust your margins, click the Margin button on the Page Layout ribbon. You can also access this command via the Tools menu or the Home tab. Select the Adjust Margins command.
Microsoft Word's default margins have been 1 inch (25.4 mm) all around since version 2007; in Word 2003, the default top and bottom margins were 1 inch (25.4 mm), but 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) were supplied to the left and right. In earlier versions, the default left and right margins were 0.5 inches (12.7 mm), but this could be changed by users or on Microsoft Windows NT systems with more than one user account by changing the "user interface margin size" setting.
To change the left and right margins simultaneously, use the WMIS parameter for the Windows system manager. The valid values are 1 through 12 (inclusive). For example, to make the left and right margins 2 inches (50.8 mm) wide, you would type "WMIS=2".
Some applications may require even wider margins; if you edit text in an application that uses 8.5-inch (21 cm) pages, for example, the left and right margins will be 9 inches (22.9 cm). Some applications allow you to specify page sizes other than the default; if you choose a page size other than the default, the margins will be proportionally wider or narrower depending on which way you choose the alternate page size.
The top and bottom margins are equal by default.