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Citation Style: APA: Basic Formatting

General Rules

Rules for Basic Formatting

APA style dictates a particular format for your paper. Before you begin typing your paper, set up your document in the following way:

  • Change the font to Times New Roman and set the font at size 12.
  • Double-space your paper. Remove any extra spaces between paragraphs.
  • Leave uniform margins of 1 inch at the top, bottom, left and right of each page.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph. For consistency, use the tab key to indent.

View the video below to see how to do this in Microsoft Word 2016.

Template for APA in Microsoft Word

You can also start by downloading this APA template made by our librarians! Add your own information, delete the instructions, and all the formatting has been done for you! Download and save this template to keep it for future APA assignments.

The Running Head

The running head should be on every page of your APA paper with a page number and the title of your paper. However, the title page looks a little different than the rest of the pages because it gets the words "running head" preceding your title. All of the other pages just have your title in all caps and the page number.

Here is an example of the running head on the title page:

Here is an example of the running head on the 2nd page (and the rest of the pages in your paper):

To achieve this in Microsoft Word 2016, make sure to have 2 pages in your document (you may need to hit enter on your keyboard to get to a 2nd page). Then, on the second page, use the insert tab to insert a page number on the right side. Before the page number, type the title of your paper in all caps. Left-align all the text. Then go to the Header & Footer Tools Design tab to insert an alignment tab to the Right to move the page number to the right side.

Check the box for "Different First Page". This will delete the header from your first page. Repeat the steps above on the first page, except this time, include the words "Running head:" right before your all-caps title.

If you prefer to watch a video tutorial on how to do the running head, see the video below:

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