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How to format your paper in APA

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This article will show you how to properly format your papers in 6th edition APA style in Microsoft Word 2016.

There are a fair number of steps, so follow this video carefully. First, you need to select all the text of the document.

The best way to do this is to push CTRL-A. Next, you will need to put the entire document into Times New Roman size 12 font.

After changing the font, but with everything still selected, click on the little pop-out arrow in the “Paragraph” section.

apa format for paper-paragraph-section

There are three elements we need to change here. Change the Line Spacing to say “Double,” change the Spacing After to 0, and click the box that says “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.”

apa format for paper-box

Now we need to create the header on page 1. You can click “Insert” and then “Header” and choose “Blank” or you can simply double-click where the header would be.

apa format for paper-insert-header

The “Design” tab should be open after your header was opened. If it isn’t, you will need to click to switch to this tab. The first thing you must do is click the box that says “Different First Page” in the middle of the Design tab.

Anything you change in the header before clicking that box will be deleted, so do it right after opening the header.

The next step for the header is to click on the “Home” tab and change the font and size to Times New Roman 12.

Then, begin typing the required text. “Running head” should be all lower-case except for the initial “R.” Then you need a colon and the title of your paper in ALL CAPS. If your title is more than 50 characters, including spaces, you cut it off before the first full word that will put you over 50.

Then click the “Insert” tab and choose “Page Number” and “Current Position” and “Plain Number 1.”

This will place the page number right after your title.

To move it to the right-hand side of the page, push your arrow back one and then hit Tab once or twice until it is on the right-hand side. It is very important that you have Word add the page numbers for you rather than trying to manually type them yourself. If you do it manually, they won’t be correct on later pages.

Now that the header on page 1 is done, you can click “Close” or just double-click in the body of the first page.

Hit enter about six or seven times and center the text (CTRL-E). Type your paper title first, capitalizing the first letter of all words except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions that are three words or fewer.

You will notice in my title that the “of” does not get capitalized, but everything else does.

The first word also always gets capitalized. Now hit enter and type your name. Hit enter one more time and type the name of your institution.

Please be sure that your institution is correct and that it is spelled correctly.

Officially, that is the only text you should include on the title page, but some instructors may want additional information such as the class section or their name, so check with them.

To get to page 2, you can either insert a page break or just hit Enter until you get to the next page.

apa format for paper page number

The first thing you’ll need to do is the header again. Either click “Insert” and “Header” or just double-click where the header will be.

apa format for paper-4

Click the “Home” tab and correct the font like we did before. Again, it should be Times New Roman 12.

apa format for paper times new roman

Then, write just the title of your paper in ALL CAPS, again remembering to stop before characters.

Unlike the header on your first page, you do not type “Running head” here.

apa format for paper running head

Click “Insert” and “Page Number,” “Current Position,” and “Plain Number” like we did before.

Arrow back one space and hit Tab once or twice to move the number to the right.

apa format for paper current position

Now, click out of the header and get to the top line of page 2, right below the header.

apa format for paper line

Your text should still be centered from the title page. If it isn’t, hit CTRL-E again to center it.

Type the full title one last time. The capitalization should be exactly the same as it is on the Title Page.

Again, notice that the “of” is not capitalized, but that everything else is.

Hit Enter, align the text to the left again (CTRL-L), and hit Tab once to indent your paragraph and you can now begin typing the introduction.

If this paper has no sources, you are finished with the formatting. If it does have sources, you have one last step. Hit Enter until you get to the top of page 3 (don’t insert a page break).

Center the text and type “References” with only the “R” capitalized. Hit Enter once and align the text to the left again. Click the pop-out arrow in the “Paragraph” section of the “Home” tab again and change the box under “Special” from “none” to “Hanging.”

apa format for paper hanging

This will create the hanging indent that you need for all your citations. If you’ve done it correctly, every line of each citation after the first one should be indented one half inch, which is required in APA.

Now your paper should be set up correctly for APA format according to the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

apa format paper

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