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Academic Resource Center (ARC) Research & Writing Resources

APA Formatting Rules

Page Formatting

APA style requires specific page formatting including margins, fonts and headers.

Specifically:

  • Font: 12 point Times Roman
  • Spacing: Double spacing (including reference list)
  • Margins: 1 inch on all sides
  • Separate title page
  • Separate page for references
  • Headings: each section of a paper has its own section headings

Title Page format

 

 

Section Headings

APA 7 Changes:

  • No running head needed for student papers (still used for papers submitted to professional journals)
  • Change to Heading Level 3
  • Change to Heading Level 4
  • Change to Heading Level 5

APA 7th Edition Headings

  (arrow indicates new style in 7th Edition)

Level of Heading

Format

1

Centered, Boldface, Upper and Lowercase Heading (Title Case)

2

Flush Left, Bold, Upper and Lowercase Heading (Title Case)

        Text begins as a new paragraph

3

Flush Left, Bold Italic, Upper and Lowercase Heading (Title Case)

         Text begins as a new paragraph

4

     Indented, Bold, Upper and Lowercase Heading (Title Case) Ending With a Period. Paragraph  begins on the same line as a regular paragraph

5      

    Indented, Bold Italic, Upper and Lowercase Heading (Title Case) Ending With a Period.Paragraph  begins on the same line as a regular paragraph

 

Formatting Section Headings and Serial Lists (Purdue OWL) 

Guide to setting up Section Headings in documents

Figures & Tables

APA 7 Changes: Tables and Figures Formatted the Same

Table Number

Table Title

Figure Number

Figure Title

APA Guide Tables

APA Guide Figures

​​​​​​​Formatting Figures & Tables 

PDF file with instructions on how to format Figures & Tables

Capitalization

Proper Nouns

Capitalize

Do Not Capitalize

University of Florida a university
Science of Nursing Practice a nursing course
Department of Psychology, Department of English a psychology department, an English department
Prozac, Humalog fluoxetine, insulin lispro
President Washington president, vice-president, chief executive officer, executive officer, manager
Dr. Iyengar psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker
Dr. Kellogg physician, doctor
Nurse Freeman nurse, registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant

Diseases, Disorders, Therapies, and More

Capitalize

Do Not Capitalize

Alzheimer's disease autism spectrum disorder
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma major depressive disorder
Freudian theory cognitive behavior therapy
Rett syndrome regression analysis
Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory of mind
Pavlovian conditioning factor analysis

Do I Capitalize This Word? (from APA Style Blog) 

Abbreviation

Click here to access the APA Style Abbreviations guidelines!

Click here to access the APA Style Abbreviations Guide!

Numbers

Write the number as a numeral:

  • Numbers 1-9 are rendered as one, two, three etc.
  • Don't start a sentence with a number. Spell it out
  • Ordinal numbers are spelled out (sixth graders or second chance)

Write as a number:

  • 10 or greater
  • If it has units (6th-grade students, 30 years old)
  • Scales (scores ranged from 35-72)

Mixed case:

In some instances  a mixture of numerals and words is used together where it clarifies the sentence and makes it easier to read

Example:

ten 5-point scales

In other cases using a combination of numbers and words may not be helpful. In those cases spell out both numbers.

Example:

first two items

 

Click here to access the APA Style Numbers guidelines.

Click here to access the APA Style Numbers and Statistics Guide!