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APA Style Guide, 7th ed.: Introduction to APA Style

Citing Your Sources

Why is citation important? - Citing your sources in college assignments gives you credibility.

Consult these sources for proper APA formatting.

Formatting a Research Paper

The following formatting rules can be found in the Basics of 7th Edition APA Style (flash file works best in FireFox or Edge and might take a minute to load).

  • Font: Use a serif typeface, such as Times New Roman for the body of your paper. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Use a sans serif typeface, like Arial, for labeling any charts, graphs, pictures, or figures that might be included in your paper.
  • Margins: You should have a one inch margin around your paper and indent five spaces at the beginning of each new paragraph.
  • Line Spacing: Your entire paper should be double spaced, including after headings, in block quotations, and in the references list.
  • Headings: Your paper will most likely have main headings only (title, Introduction, etc.). These are bolded and centered. For information on organizing other levels of headings (APA has 5 levels total), consult sections 3.02 and 3.03 in the manual.
  • Running Head: This includes the title of your paper and page numbers and it should appear in the header (top) of every page. NOTE: In the 7th edition, the running head is optional for student papers. Confirm with your instructor whether this element is required.


Sample APA Paper from Purdue OWL

Screenshot of first page of sample APA student paper

"Citation: A Very Brief Introduction" from NCSU Libraries - published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.