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APA Guide

7th Edition

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Use these resources to start formatting your paper


Basics of Seventh Edition APA Style

This tutorial is designed for writers new to APA Style. Learn the basics of seventh edition APA Style, including paper elements, format, and organization; academic writing style; grammar and usage; bias-free language; mechanics of style; tables and figures; in-text citations, paraphrasing, and quotations; and reference list format and order.


When writing a paper using APA style, 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.


Sample Papers: Take a look at these sample papers provided by

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

What Should Be Included on the Title Page?

The title page includes Title of the Paper, Page Number, Title of the Paper, Title of the Author(s), instructor's name, course number and institutional affiliation.

You can find a more in depth description of the requirements for the title page on the website.

You can also find an example of a formatted title page here.


How to Add Page Numbers

To insert page numbers in Microsoft Word:

          1. Place your cursor to the right of the running head and press the Tab button on your keyboard twice. 

          2. Click the "Insert" tab in the top menu. 

          3. Select Page Number, then "Current Position," and choose Plain Number from the options. 

          4.  On the second page, Select Page Number, then "Current Position," choose Plain Number from the

               options. The page number will show up with a consecutive number in every page in the header.

          5. Remember to change the font size and style of headers to 12pt. Times New Roman font.

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.

Format your references page using the Paragraph Settings option.

  • 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.


To format your entries with a hanging indent:

Create your list of references

Select/Highlight all of the text 

Right-click on the selection

Choose Paragraph in the menu.

Choose Hanging under the "Special" option.

All subsequent reference entries will have a hanging indent.


Below are some important updates made to the 7th edition of the APA style Guide.


  • Student papers no longer require a running header
  • Title Page has been simplified for student papers.
  • Use one space after a period at the end of a sentence unless an instructor or publisher dictates otherwise.
  • All sources with three authors or more are now attributed using the name of the first author followed by “et al.”
  • The label “Retrieved from” no longer needs to come before URLs in an APA website citation. 
  • The location of a source’s publisher is no longer needed.
  • The format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, Nook, etc.) is no longer needed in citations.
  • The manual advises writers to use “they” for a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.