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APA Style for Writing: Paper Formatting

This guide will cover APA format for papers.

Essential Elements of an APA Paper

A paper formatted according APA Style must:

  • be typed on letter-sized (8.5" x 11") paper
  • have 1" margins (the space between the text and the edge of paper) all around the text
  • be double-spaced
  • have a legible, size 12 font (APA recommends Times New Roman, but fonts like Verdana and Trebuchet are more legible for people with visual disabilities)
  • include a page header (see below)
  • have the first line of each new paragraph indented .5"
  • include at least three major sections:
    • title page (see below)
    • main body
    • references list (see References tab above)

Formatting Your Title Page

Your title page must be comprised of:

  • A header (see above)
  • The full title of your paper in title case
  • Your name as well as the names of any co-authors
  • The name of your college
  • Your title, author names and affiliations should all be centered in the upper half of the page

Here is a sample title page:

APA sample title page

Formatting Your Header

Your header should appear at the top of every page of your paper and it should include a shortened, all-capital-letter version of your title (flush left) and a page number (flush right). On your title page, the title portion of your header should look like this:

Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

Here is a sample version of a title page header:

sample title page header

For every page after your title page, just include the shortened title, not the "Running head" part.

Here is a sample version of the header for every page after the title page (the page number should change depending on the page):

APA style sample page 2 header

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