APA Paper Formatting & Style Guidelines
Your teacher may want you to format your paper using APA guidelines. If you were told to create your citations in APA format, your paper should be formatted using the APA guidelines as well.
- Use white 8 ½ x 11” paper.
- Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
- The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
- APA recommends using Times New Roman font, size 12.
- Double space the entire research paper
- Include a page header known as the “running head” at the top of every page. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page)
- To create the running head/page header, insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of page numbers)
- Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left using all capital letters
- If your title is long, this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper
Sample running head/page header
APA Paper Components
Your essay should include these four major sections:
- Title Page
- Main Body
This page should contain four pieces: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. Create the page header/running head as described above.
*Please note that only on the title page, your page header/running head should include the words “Running Head” before your title in all capitals. The rest of the pages should not include this in the page header. It should look like this on the title page:
- The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose
- It should be centered on the page and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Do not underline, bold, or italicize the title.
- Your title may take up one or two lines, but should not be more than 12 words in length.
- All text on the title page should be double-spaced in the same way as the rest of your essay
- Do not include any titles on the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms.
- The institutional affiliation is the location where the author conducted the research
Sample Title page:
On the following page, begin with the Running title.
- On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
- On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew.
- This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
- If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords: in italics. Then list your keywords that stand out in your research.
Sample Abstract page:
On the following page, begin with the Body of the paper.
- Start with the Running title
- On the next line write the title (do not bold, underline, or italicize the title)
- Begin with the introduction. Indent.
- The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based. It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
- Begin a new section with the Method. Bold and center this subtitle The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
- Begin a new section with the Results. Bold and center this subtitle. The Results section summarizes the data. Use graphs and graphs to display this data.
- Begin a new section with the Discussion. Bold and center this subtitle. This Discussion section is a chance to analyze and interpret your results.
- Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
- Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
- Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.
** Throughout the body, in-text citations are used and include the author’s/authors’ name(s) and the publication year. In APA format page numbers are not used in in-text citations.
Ex: (Wilkonson, 2009).
For more information about how to cite properly please see EasyBib’s guides for APA citations based on the sources you are using.
Sample Body page:
On a new page, write your references.
- Begin with a running title
- Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title)
- Alphabetize and Double-space all entries
- Every article/source mentioned in the paper and used in your study should be referenced and have an entry.
Sample Reference Page:
APA FORMATTING GUIDE
Material in the social and behavioral sciences is typically written in APA Style, the format established by the American Psychological Association. The rules and guidelines of the style are outlined in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. According to APA formatting, a paper should include four sections: title page, abstract, main body, and references. The manual provides style guidelines for each.
- Papers should be printed in black ink on standard, white 8.5x11-inch paper
- Text should be double spaced, size 10-12 point, and typed in a clear font, such as Times New Roman. There should be 1-inch margins on all sides.
- Create a header at the upper right-hand side of every page, composed of the first few words of the title, five spaces, and the page number.;
Title Page Guidelines
- The title page should include the page header.
- The first line of the title page should be left-aligned, not centered, and begin with the words “Running Head,” followed by a colon and an abbreviated version of your title using 50 characters or less in all capital letters.
- Centered,in the upper half of the page, list your full title, name, and affiliation (for example, University of Michigan).
- Any endnotes should be located on a separate page, before your Works Cited page.
- The abstract page should include the page header.
- The first line should just say the word “Abstract,” centered.
- Your abstract should begin on the following line, without indentation, double spaced, and should consist of one paragraph of fewer than 120 words.
- Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.
- Cohen, R. C., & Meyers, R. R. (1991). APA guide for preparing manuscripts for journal articles. San Francisco: Modern Language Association.
Chapter from a Bookr
- Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.
- Author, A. (Year). Title [computer software]. City: Publisher.
- Baker, E. (2004). RetroActive [computer software]. Cincinnati: Jennings.
- Jones, B., Tesar, B., & Luckow, K. (2007). IG: Intl Games Software (Version 2.1) [Software]. Available from http://www.intlgames.com
- Brown, A. M., Smith, A. L., & Yen, D. P. (2001). The Centrist Study. Journal of European Studies, 8(3). Retrieved February 20, 2001, from EURO ARTICLES database.
- Goldstein, Y. (2003). Essays in Faith Based Studies (Doctoral dissertation, Harvard College, 2004). Dissertation Abstracts International, 62, 7741F.
- Henry, F. G. (1990). Space. In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 306-508). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D.D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.Journal
- Wong, I. (1998). Mischa Mischa. The New Criterion, 15(30), 5-13.
- Henry, G. (2004, September). Ripples versus waves [Letter to the editor]. Scientific American, 287(2), 12.
- Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Article Title. Publication Title, Volume number, page range.
- Jones, W. A., III. (1994, April 12). Happy Living. Time, 135, 28-31.
- Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of Article. Title of Publication, p. 1A.
- Author, A. (Year, Month Day). Title of Article. Title of Publication, pp. 1A, 2A.
- Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available).Retrieved month day, year, (if necessary) from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
- Cohen, M. (2008). Why We Should Run. A List Apart: For People Who Exercise, 129. Retrieved June 2, 2000, from http://www.healthyliving.com
- American Psychiatric Association. (1999). Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with depression (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.
- Producer, P. P. (Producer). (Date of broadcast or copyright). Title of broadcast [ Television broadcast or Television series ]. City of origin: Studio or distributor.
- “Name of Episode.” Name of Series. Network. Station, City. Date of Broadcast.
- Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Rev. of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical day month year: page.
- Truman, Mark. "France: Where Art Thou?" Rev. of Majestic City, dir. Michael Roth and Benjamin Schwartz. San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2006 late ed.: E1.
- Author’s name (if available). Name of Site. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sometimes found in copyright statements). Date you accessed the site
- Benson, David. Ankle Replacement Prosthetics. 16 Nov. 2007. University of Maryland. 6 Feb. 2008 <http://www.anklereplacement.com>.