This guide follows the 6th edition of the APA Manual of Style. It is important to make sure that you follow these rules closely. Punctuation, italics, indents, and spacing are all very important.
Your instructor may give you specific instructions on format or style. Always make sure you follow your instructor's guidelines.
Times New Roman is a common font, but any font that is readable is okay. Your paper must be in 12 point font, double spaced.
The first line of every paragraph must be indented 5-7 spaces.
APA papers have a running head that appears in the header of each page. The running head is the first part of your title, without the subtitle. The first page's running head should be the first part of the title, preceded by "Running head:" Every page after the first should just use the first part of the title.
The other part of your header are page numbers. Every page, including the first, needs a page number in the upper right corner. Use numerals.
Major Parts of Your Paper
APA papers have 4 parts: the title page, abstract, main body, and references.
Your instructor may ask you to leave off a title page or abstract. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.
An abstract is a summary of your paper; your research question, methods or findings, and conclusions, summarized in 150-250 words.
You need to describe what your paper is about and what evidence or arguments you use in your paper. Your abstract should discuss your research question or thesis, the evidence or arguments or results that you present in the paper, and your conclusions. Do not go into detail; your reader should be able to understand the gist of your paper from your abstract.
APA recommends 12 words or fewer for your title. Your title can take up one or two lines of text.
Your Title Page
Your title page should include the title of your paper, your name, and your institional affiliation (the school you attend or the organization that you work for), in that order. Your name does not need to include titles or degree information, such as "Mrs." or "Ph.D."
Each piece of information should be centered and on its own line. All three lines should be on the upper half of the page.