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Writing Center: How to Set up an APA Paper

A guide to information to help you research and write more effectively.

How to Set up an APA Paper

How to Set up a Paper 

Basic Rules:

1)      Set the margins of your paper to be 1 inch on all sides (go to Margins under Page Layout)

2)      Use the font: Times New Roman

3)      The font size should be 12 point.

4)      Make sure your paper is double-spaced and that the Before and After boxes both read 0 (go to Paragraph and then look under Spacing.)

5)      You text should be aligned left (also go to Paragraph and look under General.)

6)      Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key).

 

How to Set up an APA Paper

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is generally used for disciplines such as Psychology, Sociology, Education, Nursing, Communication, and other social sciences.

General format guidelines:

1)      Follow all basic rules mentioned above.

2)      Your essay should include four major sections: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and Reference Page.

3)      Set up a Title Page: include the page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.

·         Go to Insert Header Edit Header Design → Choose Different First Page

·         Go to Insert Page Number Top of Page Plain Number 3 Click. (Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) → Type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number. (Please note that on the title page, your page header should look like this:

Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

                        Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

                                    TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

4)      The Title Page should include:

·         The title of you paper: type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

·         The author’s name (your name): beneath the title, type the author’s name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph.D).

·         The institutional affiliation: beneath the author’s name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research, such as Mississippi College.

5)      Set up an Abstract Page:

·         Begin a new page.

·         Set up a page header flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.

Ø  Go to Insert Page Number Top of Page Plain Number 3 → type your page header and click Tab key twice to separate from the page number.

Ø  Make sure all pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

·         On the first line of the abstract page, center the word Abstract (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks.)

·         Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.)

6)      The Body of your paper:

·         It should start from the third page of your paper.

·         You should already include the page header (described above)

·         Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered on the first line.

·         Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. (Use Tab key)

7)      Reference Page:

·         This page begins on a new page.

·         This page should be double-spaced as well.

·         This page should have a running head, too.

·         Center the word References without underlining, bolding, or italicizing it. If there is only one entry, title this page Reference.

·         Create a hanging indention for this page:

Ø  Go to Paragraph and select Special under Indention

Ø  Then select Hanging

Video on Formatting an Essay with APA Sixth Edition

Still struggling on how to format research, term papers and essays with APA Sixth Edition? Check this video out!