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APA Style Guide

Formatting Your Paper in APA

diagram of a student page


Formatting Guidelines

Paper title

Place the title three to four lines down from the top of the title page. Center it and type it in bold font. Capitalize key words of the title. There is no maximum length for titles; however, keep titles focused and include key terms.


Place one double-spaced blank line between the paper title and your name. 


For a student paper, the affiliation is the institution where the student attends school. Include both the name of any department and the name of the college, university, or other institution, separated by a comma. Center the affiliation on the next double-spaced line after the author name(s).


Provide the course number as shown on instructional materials, followed by a colon and the course name. Center the course number and name on the next double-spaced line after the author affiliation.


Provide the name of the instructor for the course using the format shown on instructional materials. Center the instructor name on the next double-spaced line after the course number and name.

Due Date

Provide the due date for the assignment. Center the due date on the next double-spaced line after the instructor name. 

Page Number

Use the page number 1 on the title page. Use the automatic page-numbering function of your word processing program to insert page numbers in the top right corner of the page header.

Source: APA Style Blog

Source: APA Style Blog


Guidelines for the body of the paper:

  • Double space throughout
  • Use the same font throughout (12-point Times New Roman,11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern)
  • Use 1 inch margins on all sides
  • Align text with the left-hand margin
  • Leave the right margin ragged
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph 0.5 inch
  • Carry over page numbering from the title page so that the body of your paper begins on page 2

Page 2: Include your title exactly as it appears on your title page: center it, use bold font, and capitalize key words.

Source: APA Style Blog

Guidelines for the References page

  • Title the page References
  • Insert the title on the first line of a new page
  • Center and bold the title
  • Continue with pagination, font size and style, and line spacing to match the body of the paper
  • Start the first line of every citation flush with the left margin and indent all subsequent lines (hanging indent)
  • Alphabetize entries


Additional Resources