This page contains information on the style and format of papers according to APA 7th edition using the Concise Guide to APA Style: The Official APA Style for Students.
APA Style papers should have the same style and size of font throughout the text of the paper (title page to reference page). APA considers the following fonts acceptable: 11- point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern. It is recommended that you check with your instructor to see if they have a preferred font style.
(See section 1.18 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
The first line of every paragraph in the text of your paper and every reference on your reference page is indented (hit the tab key once). The remaining lines are left flush with the left-hand margin of the paper (this is known as a "hanging indent").
Page numbers: Title page through reference pages are numbered using Arabic numerals; place each number in the top right corner of the page.
Running heads: Are NOT required in student papers, but you should still check with your instructor to see if they wish them to be used.
Dashes: APA uses em dashes (long dash) and en dashes (short dash). See section 4.6 of the Concise Guide to APA Style for more information.
APA Style papers should have double-spaced text throughout the entire paper (including quotations and references). To make your paper double-spaced in Microsoft Word, highlight the text you want double-spaced, and then click Layout. Next, click on the arrow to the right of the word Paragraph (a pop-up appears). From the drop-down menu under Line Spacing, select Double (default choice is Multiple) and click OK.
APA Style papers use 1 inch margins all around (top to bottom and left to right). Margins in Microsoft Word are set to 1 inch by default. If you are unsure, you can check your margins by clicking Layout, and clicking Margins. Once the drop-down menu appears, make sure Normal is selected to ensure you have 1 inch margins all around your paper.
(See sections 1.20 and 1.21 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
APA Style recommends ONE space after a period when the period ends a sentence, separates parts of a reference list entry, or follows initials in names (J.B. Jones).
Do NOT put a space after a period when the period is part of an internal abbreviations (U.S. or a.m.)
Do NOT use periods for the abbreviation of state, province, or territory names (AZ; KS; BC); capital letter abbreviations and acronyms (APA, AMA, EPA); for abbreviations of academic degrees (PhD, MD, DO); or for abbreviations of metric and nonmetric measurements (cm, hr, kg,). Note: Use a period when abbreviating "inch" or "inches" (in.) or else it could be misread.
(See sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
Sentence case is where most words in a sentence are going to be lower case.
The EXCEPTIONS are the first word in a title, heading, or sub-title; proper nouns; the first word after an em dash, semi-colon, or end punctuation; and any noun followed by a letter or number.
Title case is where major words are capitalized while minor words are lower case.
In APA style, major words are nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, or any word that is four letters or longer.
Minor words are articles, short prepositions, and conjunctions that are three letters or less.
(See section 5.7 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
Refers to restating someone else's ideas or findings into your own words. Paraphrasing allows you to summarize information from one or more sources, compare and contrast information from multiple sources, and focus on the most important information from each source.
It is BEST to paraphrase information whenever possible rather than using direct quotations.
Paraphrased information must be cited in-text with either a parenthetical or narrative citation.
(See sections 8.23 and 8.24 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
Reproduce words EXACTLY as written from another work (including your own). Quotations are best used in papers for when you want to reproduce an exact definition, when an author of a work has said something memorable, or when you want to respond to the exact wording (something someone said) from an author in your paper.
When not using a quotation for one of the above reasons, it is best to paraphrase information. Additionally, you should check with your instructor to see if they limit the number of quotations you are allowed to use.
Quotations must be cited in-text with either a parenthetical or narrative citation.
Short quotations consist of 40 words or less and should be incorporated into the text of your paper with quotation marks.
Long quotations consists of 40 words or more and do not use quotations marks. Instead, they should be incorporated into your paper as a block quotation. Block quotations begin on a new line, are double-spaced, and are indented 0.5 inches from the left hand margin of your paper.
(See sections 8.25 - 8.33 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)
Heading Levels or "headings" are a way to organize information in APA papers and convey it clearly (think of headings as "sections" and "subsections"). There are five levels of headings in APA Style, although for undergraduates it is rare to need to go past a Level 2 headings. If you are unsure if you need to use headings, check with your instructor.
|1||Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading||Text begins as a new paragraph.|
|2||Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading||Text begins as a new paragraph.|
|3||Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading||Text begins as a new paragraph.|
|4||Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period.||Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.|
|5||Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period.||Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.|
Note: Do NOT label an introduction as "Introduction" in APA papers. The title of your paper acts as a de facto Level 1 Heading.
(See section 1.26 of the Concise Guide to APA Style)