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APA Style, 7th edition - Citing Sources: Formatting the Paper

Formatting the Paper

When writing a paper using APA style, you must adhere to very specific style rules. These include:

  • Double space with 1" margins on all sides.
  • Many font choices are acceptable. Use the same font throughout the paper. Suggested fonts include: Calibra 11 pt., Arial 11 pt., Lucida Sans Unicode 10 pt., Times New Roman 12 pt., Georgia 11 pt., Computer Modern 10 pt.  MORE INFORMATION.
  • While page headers are no longer needed for student papers (no more Running head!), each page should be numbered in the header, flush right.  Numbering starts with the title page.
  • Paper's sections:  Title Page, Main Body, References.  Other sections include abstract, appendices.  These are not always required or necessary. Check your assignment and/or ask your professor.
  • Title of paper (in bold), author's name (your name), institutional affiliation (Regis College), course number and name, instructor name, assignment due date centered on title page are the basic elements on the title page.  MORE INFORMATION
  • Start the reference list after the body of the paper, on a new page, with the word References bolded and centered at the top. 
  • Headings must conform to APA Style. MORE INFORMATION.

 

APA 7th Student & Professional Templates

Use the below templates to get started with formatting your papers in APA in Word. Make sure to check with your professor if you should be using the professional or student versions!

Paper Formatting

Topics covered:

  • Order of pages
  • Title Page Setup
  • Font
  • Page Header
  • Line Spacing
  • Margins
  • Paragraph Alignment & Indentation
  • Headings
  • Accessibility 

APA Checklist

Use this checklist to proofread your paper once it is complete. 

Sample APA Papers

APA has sample papers available on page 50 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.

Be sure to check with your professor on which format version to use, since the format for professional papers (those submitted to a journal) is different than the student format.

Abstract

Student papers typically do not require an abstract (see p. 30 APA 7th manual).  Check your assignment or clarify with your professor if you have questions about whether an abstract is necessary.

An abstract is written after your paper is completed.  It is typically one paragraph of 300 words or less that summarizes your paper and provides enough information so that the reader can decide whether it would be useful to read the rest of the paper.  It includes the purpose of the study, the design of your study (methods), results or findings, and conclusions. In other words, an abstract describes what you set out to do, how you did it, your results, and your conclusions based on the results.

There are different abstract formats for different types of studies.  These include empirical studies, literature reviews, theory-oriented papers, methodological papers, and case studies.  Each of these is discussed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.), on pp. 25- 27.

If you include an abstract, begin on a new page right after the title page (the second page).  On the first line of the abstract page, center and bold the word Abstract (do not use italics, underlining, or quotation marks). Begin your abstract paragraph on the next line.  Do not indent the paragraph.

MORE INFORMATION

Appendix

You may want to use appendices in a long paper such as a term project or dissertation. Rules to keep in mind:

  • The appendix appears after the reference list.
  • Each appendix should be labeled.  Name the first appendix Appendix A, the second Appendix B, etc.
  • The appendices should appear in the order that they are mentioned in your paper.
  • Start each appendix on a new page.
  • More detail about formatting appendices can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) starting on p. 38.