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APA Guide (Based on the 6th Edition): Formatting

Video Instruction

Structure Outline

All About Formatting

When writing a paper using APA style, be sure to use the following formatting guidelines:

Fonts: The preferred font of APA is Times New Roman 12 pt.

Margins: Margins should be 1 inch on all sides.

Page Numbers: Page numbers should be placed in the document header, flush right.

Spacing: The entire document should be double-spaced.

Page Breaks: There should be page breaks (i.e., start a new page) at the Introduction and the References.

JustificationAll paragraphs should be indented at 0.5". Keep the body of paragraphs flush left and the right margin uneven/ragged.

Tip! How to Indent

  1. Before beginning the list, right-click on the paragraph to be indented.
    OR
    After creating the list, select all of its text, and right-click on the selection.
  2. Choose Paragraph in the menu.
  3. In the pop-up, choose First Line under "Special." Press Okay.

Every time you hit "Enter" for a new paragraph afterwards, it will continue to indent the first line.

See “Formatting Tables and Figures” section on pages 127-150 in the APA manual for exceptions.

Headings also help structure the paper. The more complex your paper the more levels of headings you will use.

  • Always start anew with Level 1 headings.
  • Avoid over-using them (number of headings, and number of heading levels).
  • Avoid headings with numbers or letters.

 

APA Headings

Level 1 heading

Centered, Boldface, and Title Case Heading

The text follows as a new indented paragraph.

 

Level 2 heading

 Flush Left, Boldface, and Title Case Heading

The text follows as a new indented paragraph.

 

Level 3 heading

Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. Immediately followed by the text.

 

Level 4 heading

Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. Immediately followed by the text.

 

Level 5 heading

Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. Immediately followed by the text.

 

 

See page 62-63 of the manual for more information.

  • Begin with References centered at the top of the page (no underlining or italics).
  • Arrange references in alphabetical order by the author's last name, and then in order by date.
  • Double space between and within references.
  • Have a hanging indent at the second line of each reference.
Tip! How to Indent

(Want video instructions? Click here!)

  1. Before beginning the list, right-click on the paragraph to be indented.
    OR
    After creating the list, select all of its text, and right-click on the selection.
  2. Choose Paragraph in the menu.
  3. In the pop-up, choose Hanging under "Special." Press Okay.


Every time you hit "Enter" for a new paragraph afterwards, it will continue to indent all but the first line.

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Reference

American Psychological Association. (2009). Manuscript structure and content. In Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (pp. 21-60). Washington, DC:  Author.