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APA 7th Edition - Paper Format Guide

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APA stands for the American Psychological Association. In this guide, you’ll find information related to “What is APA format?” in relation to writing and organizing your paper according to the American Psychological Association’s standards. Information on how to cite sources can be found on our APA citation page. The official American Psychological Association handbook was used as a reference for our guide.

Key Guidelines for Writing an APA paper

Here are key guidelines for developing your title page:

  • The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay, but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. For example, instead of using the title “A Look at Amphibians from the Past”, change the title of the paper to “Amphibians from the Past.” Delete the unnecessary words in the title.
  • Center the title on the page and place it about 3-4 lines from the top.
  • The title should be bolded, in title case, and the same font size as your other page text. Do not underline or italicize the title. Other text on the page should be plain (not bolded, underlined, or italicized).
  • All text on the title page should be double-spaced.
  • Do not include any titles in the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms. In contrast, for your instructor’s name, use the form they prefer.
  • The institutional affiliation is the school the author attends or the location where the author conducted the research.

Running Head

The 7th edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (p. 37) states that running heads are not required for student papers unless requested by the instructor. Student papers still need a page number included in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The 6th edition required a running head for student papers, so be sure to confirm with your instructor which edition an essay writer should follow.

A running head/page header includes two pieces:

  • The title of the paper
  • Page numbers.

Insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the APA format paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of the page numbers).

Body of the Paper

The following points should be observed while writing the body of the paper in APA 7th Edition.

  • On the page after the title page (if a student paper) or the abstract (if a professional paper), begin with the body of the paper. Most papers follow this format:
  • At the top of the page, add the page number in the upper right corner of all pages, including the title page.
  • On the next line write the title in Bold Font and center it. Do not underline or italicize it.
  • Begin with the introduction and indent the first line of the paragraph. All paragraphs in the body are indented.

Spacing in the paper

The manual for APA citation recommends using one space after most punctuation marks, including punctuation at the end of a sentence. An APA paper must be double spaced and typed on (8.5" x 11") standard-sized paper. The paper margins must be kept 1" on all sides. The official APA format book was primarily created to help students and researchers while submitting their research papers for publication in a professional journal.

Reference Pages

You can observe the following pointers as per the new directions of APA 7th Edition.

  • Put the title in the center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title).
  • Alphabetize and double-space ALL entries.
  • Use a readable font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Lucida (p. 44).
  • Every quote or piece of outside information included in the paper should be referenced and have an entry.
  • Even though it’s called a “reference page,” it can be longer than one page. If your references flow onto the next page, then don’t worry about it.
  • Only include the running head if it is required by your teacher or you’re writing a professional paper.

*Note that the given page numbers are the ones taken from the APA 7th guidelines book.

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