How To Set Up An Essay In Apa Format

General Format

Summary:

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

Contributors: Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 02:26:13

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.

To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all APA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart.

You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel.

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Include a page header  (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

Title Page

The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header/running head should look like this:

Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

Image Caption: APA Title Page

Abstract

Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

Image Caption: APA Abstract Page

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual Resources

Contributors' names and the last edited date can be found in the orange boxes at the top of every page on the OWL.

Contributors' names (Last edited date). Title of resource. Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

 

Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

How to Set up a Paper

Basic Rules:

1)      Set the margins of your paper to be 1 inch on all sides (go to Margins under Page Layout)

2)      Use the font: Times New Roman

3)      The font size should be 12 point.

4)      Make sure your paper is double-spaced and that the Before and After boxes both read 0 (go to Paragraph and then look under Spacing.)

5)      You text should be aligned left (also go to Paragraph and look under General.)

6)      Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key).

How to Set up an APA Paper

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is generally used for disciplines such as Psychology, Sociology, Education, Nursing, Communication, and other social sciences.

General format guidelines:

1)      Follow all basic rules mentioned above.

2)      Your essay should include four major sections: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and Reference Page.

3)      Set up a Title Page: include the page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.

·         Go to Insert Header Edit Header Design → Choose Different First Page

·         Go to Insert Page Number Top of Page Plain Number 3 → Click. (Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) → Type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number. (Please note that on the title page, your page header should look like this:

Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

                        Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

                                    TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

4)      The Title Page should include:

·         The title of you paper: type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

·         The author’s name (your name): beneath the title, type the author’s name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph.D).

·         The institutional affiliation: beneath the author’s name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research, such as Mississippi College.

5)      Set up an Abstract Page:

·         Begin a new page.

·         Set up a page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.

Ø  Go to Insert Page Number Top of Page Plain Number 3 → type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number.

Ø  Make sure all pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

·         On the first line of the abstract page, center the word Abstract (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks.)

·         Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.)

6)      The Body of your paper:

·         It should start from the third page of your paper.

·         You should already include the page header (described above)

·         Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered on the first line.

·         Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key)

7)      Reference Page:

·         This page begins on a new page.

·         This page should be double-spaced as well.

·         This page should have a running head, too.

·         Center the word References without underlining, bolding, or italicizing it. If there is only one entry, title this page Reference.

·         Create a hanging indention for this page:

Ø  Go to Paragraph and select Special under Indention

Ø  Then select Hanging

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