APA Format

APA Format

What is APA format?
APA format is a set of document style guidelines commonly used by social sciences such as psychology, sociology, government, and communications, as well as nursing, business, engineering, and related fields.

Basic APA formatting guidelines:

  • Sans serif fonts (e.g., 11-point Calibri and 11-point Arial) or Serif fonts (e.g., 12-point Times New Roman and 11-point Georgia)
  • Double space all lines of the document
  • Use one-inch margins on all sides of the document
  • Left justify the text (body) of the paper
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 in. using the tab key
  • Section labels or level 1 headings (e.g., Abstract or References) should be centered and bolded
  • Page number, flush right, in the header of every page
  • Use one space after each period or punctuation mark unless otherwise instructed
  • An abbreviated title or running head is no longer necessary for student papers unless required by the instructor

Order of APA Sections

An APA student paper is typically arranged into these four sections:

  • Title page – Includes paper title, author’s name, author’s affiliation, course, instructor, and due date
  • Abstract – Contains a brief, comprehensive summary of the paper (250 words or less)
  • Text (Body) – Consists of the essay’s written content
  • References – Includes a list of all sources referred to in a paper

Note: Include as much of the above information as possible in the reference entry. Any missing information may be left out.

*APA Format information is in Sections 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.21, 2.22, 2.23, and 2.24 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Page last updated July 25, 2023.