Watch this video, pausing and restarting, to help you format your paper in APA format. You may also use the guide below.
Step 1: Format your Word features
You will need to first set up these features in your Word Document.
Font: HOME tab > 12 point font size and Times New Roman. Other acceptable fonts are Calibri, Arial, and Georgia in 11 point size.
Margins: PAGE LAYOUT > Margins >Normal (Top 1”, Bottom 1”, Left 1”, Right 1”)
Spacing: Choose PAGE LAYOUT > Paragraph > tiny arrow in the far right bottom corner of that box. It should open the Paragraph Settings. Then, set the spacing to DOUBLE.
The running head is not required in student papers, unless required by your professor or institution. However, manuscripts that are being submitted for publication do require a running head.
To add a running head to your paper, follow the steps below.
1. INSERT > Header > Choose the first one (Blank)
2. The Header will pop up. Above it, the DESIGN tab will be in green. With the DESIGN tab open, choose the HOME tab. Choose Times New Roman font in size 12.
3. Hit the CAPS LOCK button on your keyboard. Type TITLE OF YOUR PAPER. Unlock the CAPS LOCK function. NOTE: The title of your paper should not be longer than 50 characters; if it is a long title, you will need to shorten the title in the running head. (You may keep the title as long as you wish on the title category of the title page.)
4. Hit the TAB button until you move the cursor to the far right.
5. Click on the INSERT > Page number > Current Position > Plain Number (first option).
6. Click, hold, and drag to highlight all the text in your header, including the page number. Choose the HOME tab, then change the font style to Times New Roman and change the font size to 12.
7. Double click outside of your header and into the main part of the page.
If you do not need to set up the running head, you still need to insert page numbers.
1. In the INSERT tab, choose Page Number.
2. Click Top of page, then choose Plain Number 3 to add a page number to the top right corner of your page.
3. Click, hold, and drag to highlight all the text in your header, including the page number. Choose the HOME tab, then change the font style to Times New Roman and change the font size to 12.
4. Double click outside of your header and into the main part of the page.
1. Place your title in the upper half of the title page. To achieve this, hit ENTER 4-5 times.
2. Go to HOME > Paragraph > Center button to center your title.
3. Still in the HOME tab, choose B to make the font boldface.
4. Type in your title, using appropriate capitalization. NOTE: Your title should not be longer than twelve words or contain abbreviations. It may be one or two lines.
5. Hit ENTER. In the HOME tab, choose B to make the font no longer boldface. Type in your name (first and last) using appropriate capitalization.
6. Hit ENTER. Type in the institution's name: Walters State Community College NOTE: Do NOT abbreviate.
7. Click INSERT tab > Page Break to move to the second page of your essay. (You can also just hit enter until you get to the next page.)
NOTE: Abstracts are required for most scholarly journals, but not always for student assignments. If in doubt, ask your instructor whether an abstract is required for your assignment.
1. Your abstract should be the second page of your essay.
2. In the HOME tab, choose CENTER alignment in the paragraph box. Then click B to make the font boldface.
3. Type the word Abstract . NOTE: Do not use quotation marks, make the font italicized, or make it larger.
4. Hit Enter once. Choose HOME > Paragraph > Align Left. Still in the HOME tab, choose B to make the font no longer boldface. (This is the button that puts the cursor back to the left side of the page.) DO NOT INDENT. Type a brief, objective summary of your essay that should be no longer than 250 words.
To format the first page of your essay, follow these instructions.
1. INSERT> Page Break to get to the next page of your essay, or click enter until you get to the next page.
2. Go to Home > Paragraph >Align Center. Choose B to make the font boldfaced. Type the full title, using appropriate capitalization, on the first line.
3. Hit enter. Read A & B below.
a. If you are using a heading for the first part of your paper (e.g. Review of Literature, Methodology, etc.), then you will need to type your heading using the following format: Bold, center-aligned, with appropriate capitalization. See 3.03 (page 62) in the APA Publication Manual if you have multiple levels of headings.
b. If you are not using a heading, or you are ready to type your essay, got to HOME> Paragraph > Align left. Still in the HOME tab, click B to make the font no longer boldface. (This is the button that puts the cursor back to the left side of the page.) Then, indent and begin typing your essay.
To format your References page in Word, please follow these directions.
1. After you have finished your essay, click INSERT > Page Break.
2. Center your cursor. Choose B in the HOME tab to make the font boldface. Type Reference if your essay contains only one citation. Type References if your essay contains more than one distinct citation.
3. Hit ENTER. Choose HOME > Paragraph > Align Left. (This is the button that puts the cursor back to the left side of the page.)
4. Choose PAGE LAYOUT > Paragraph > tiny arrow in the far right bottom corner of that box. It should open the Paragraph Settings.
5. In the Paragraph Settings box, choose Indentation > Special > Drop down the box to HANGING. (Below is what you should see.)
6. In the HOME tab, choose B to make the font no longer boldface.
7. Type in your reference list in alphabetical order by last name, following APA style rules. Make sure that you double space between each entry (Do NOT hit enter more than once at the end of each entry. You should not be spacing more than the double-space that the computer does for you.)
APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition (2019) was consulted in creating this guide.
*If you need further assistance formatting your essay, please see/call/email a librarian or visit the Writing Lab.
Library Reference Desk: 423-585-6946
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