These pages is intended for users of the APA style. We also give you the tutorial that is same either MLA or CMS style.


Formatting your essay according to the APA guidelines (6th ed.) can be quite tricky. Fortunately, this guide shall help you score high marks for professionalism. And, even it, do scroll down to download our free APA essay template if you’re not planning to read.

Note: all instructions that are detailed to Microsoft Word. If you’re using an alternative word processor, you may need to try to find an equivalent setting.

The Basic Principles

Essay Components

An APA paper has four parts:

  1. The Title Page
  2. The Abstract
  3. The Essay
  4. The Reference List

It’s best to separate each section with a typical page break (Insert > Page Break).

The default font is Times New Roman, size 12 (a smaller sized dimensions are fine for footnotes). It’s a serif font if you select any other font, make sure. You may, however, use a font that is sans-serif captions and descriptions in figures and tables.

Since 2007, the default margin for any Word document has been 1 inch all over. Fortunately, APA format gets the requirement that is same. If for a few good reason you need to fix the margins, head to Page Layout > Margins > Normal.

All the essay writer text in your essay must be double-spaced. Which will make this change quickly, first press Ctrl + A to highlight all text and then press Home > Line and Paragraph Spacing (symbol) > 2.0. Ensure you also click on “Remove Space After Paragraph.”

Let’s look in the basic layout of an APA title page:

Let’s break down what goes into making a title page that is great. The thing that is first want to do is ensure that your first page is formatted independently through the other countries in the paper. To accomplish so click on Page Layout > Page Setup > Layout > Different First Page.

You can add a web page number (Insert > Page Number > Plain no. 3) and add a head that is running. The running head is your essay title in 50 characters or less (that includes spaces and punctuation). In case the title that is full is long, provide a shorter version. After you’ve typed the title, press Tab a few times to help make the Running head flush with all the left margin. Don’t forget to use the right font.

Once you add your title, be sure that you capitalize important words, not prepositions and articles.

Optional: you can add an author’s note near the bottom of your title page. To learn more, please see pp. 24-25 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). The note that is author’s more common for published papers, and a lot of students can safely ignore it.

The abstract receives its very own page:

This time leave out the words “Running head” and give simply the title (or the shortened version). Insert a typical page number (Insert > Page Number > Plain # 3), while making sure your header is in the right font (Times New Roman, size 12). Each subsequent page should currently have the correct header.

Centre the phrase Abstract and left-align the summary that is actual. Do not indent this paragraph.

Essay Start Page

Your essay really begins in the page that is third

Finally, don’t forget to cite your sources:

For lots more details, please visit our page on formatting the reference list.

APA papers tend to be divided into sections. If you’d like to organize your material with headings, it is possible to select from a number of various headers. Begin by using level that is first and use the others for sub-headers:

First Level Header (Bold, Centered, and in Title Case)

Second Level Header (Bold, Left Aligned, plus in Title Case)

Third level header (indented, bold, and lowercase), ending with a period.

Fourth level header (same as the third level, however now in italics!).

Fifth level header (identical to the fourth level, although not in bold).

As you care able to see, you don’t need to use some complex numbering system (e.g., 3.2.1b) to prepare your thinking. The formatting for the header does the secret.