Skip to Main Content

APA 7th ed. Style Guide

This guide gives an overview of formatting a research paper using APA 7th edition citation style

General Formatting Guidelines

Follow these guidelines throughout your paper:

  • Double space text
  • Header for student and professional papers includes the page number in the upper right hand corner
  • Single space after ending punctuation
  • Font size and style: Times New Roman 12 pt, Arial 11 pt, Calibri 11 pt, or Georgia 11 pt
  • Use the same font type and size throughout the paper (exceptions for figure images, computer code, and footnotes - see 2.19 in APA Manual)
  • Margins: 1 inch on all sides
  • Left align paragraphs and leave ragged (uneven) margins on the right
  • Indention: use 0.5 inch indention for the first line of every paragraph (use tab key for consistency)

Formatting Title Page

The 7th edition Publication Manual for APA introduced the student and professional papers. The major difference between these two types of papers is found on the title page. Please, see the guidelines below for formatting the title page of your document. Also note, follow your professors' guidelines for formatting the title page.

General Title Page Guidelines:

  • Double space
  • The title should summarize the main idea and be focused/succinct (avoid unnecessary words)
  • Title written in title case (the first letter of each word is capitalized), bold, centered, and positioned in the upper half of the title page
  • Use the author(s) first name, middle initial, and last name as the author's byline

Student Papers:

  • title of the paper
  • name of the author(s)
  • author affiliation (department and institution name)
  • course number and name 
  • instructor name
  • assignment due date (i.e. November 4, 2020)
  • page number (in the header)

Professional Papers:

  • title of the paper
  • name of the author(s)
  • author affiliation
  • author note
  • running head (abbreviated title) - Flush with left margin and written in all capital letters
  • page number (in the header)

Formatting Headings

Follow this format for headings (see 2.27 of the Publication Manual for additional details):

Level 1 headings are written in bold title case and aligned to the center. The text begins as a new paragraph.

Level 2 headings are written in bold title case and aligned flush to the left. The text begins as a new paragraph.

Level 3 headings are written in bold, italicized title case, and aligned flush to the left. The text begins as a new paragraph.

Level 4 headings are written in bold title case, indented from the left, and end with a period. The text begins after the period and continues like a regular paragraph.

Level 5 headings are written in bold, italicized title case, indented from the left, and end with a period. The text begins after the period and continues like a regular paragraph.

Formatting Reference List

The following are guidelines for formatting your reference list:

  • Start on a new page after the last page of text
  • Label the page Reference(s) with a capitalized R, written in bold and centered
  • Double space all entries
  • Use hanging indent for reference entries (first line of the reference is flush with left margin, subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches)
  • Order alphabetically (see chapter 9 section 44-49 for additional instructions on entry order)