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APA Style Guide, 7th ed.

This guide provides tips and examples for APA style formatting of papers and citations.

Paper Elements

All papers, including student papers, generally include a title page, body, and references. They may include additional elements such as tables and figures depending on the assignment.

Abstract (optional element)

Most student papers do not require an abstract. If your instructor requires an abstract, it should go on the page immediately following the title page. An abstract is a brief summary of your paper. It should be about a paragraph long. Center the word Abstract in bold at the top of the page, and begin typing your abstract on the next line. The paragraph should not be indented and It should be double-spaced.

Body

If your paper requires an abstract, the body of your paper should begin at the top of the page following the abstract. If you do not have an abstract, the body should begin at the top of the page following the title page. Center the full title of your paper in bold print at the top of the body page and begin typing your paper on the next line. Be sure to indent each paragraph. Your entire paper should be double-spaced.

Headings

Use headings when necessary to differentiate distinct parts of a long or complex paper. Student papers may not require headings. There are five levels of headings used in APA Style. Use only the number of headings needed to differentiate parts of your paper. Just like an outline, avoid having only one subsection within a section. The table below follows the guidelines about headings from the APA Style Website.

Level

Format

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.