This site is intended for users of the APA style. We also give you the same tutorial using either MLA or CMS style.

This site is intended for users of the APA style. We also give you the same tutorial using either MLA or CMS style.


Formatting your essay in accordance with the APA guidelines (6th ed.) can be very tricky. Fortunately, this guide will 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 seek out an equivalent setting.

The Fundamentals

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 split up each section with a web page break (Insert > Page Break).

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

Since 2007, the default margin for almost any Word document has been 1 inch all around. Fortunately, APA format has got the same requirement. If for a few good reason you’ll want to fix the margins, head to Page Layout > Margins > Normal.

All of the text in your essay should always be double-spaced. To produce this change quickly, first press Ctrl + A to highlight all text and then press Home > Line and Paragraph Spacing (symbol) > 2.0. Make sure you also click on “Remove Space After Paragraph.”

Let’s look at the layout that is basic of APA title page:

Let’s break up what goes into making a title page that is great. The thing that is first want to do is ensure 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 page number (Insert > Page Number > Plain #3) and add a head that is running. The head that is running your essay title in 50 characters or less (that includes spaces and punctuation). In the event the title that is full is long, provide a shorter version. Once you’ve typed the title, press Tab once or twice to make the Running head flush with the margin that is left. Don’t forget to use the right font.

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

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

The abstract receives its own page:

This time around leave the words out “Running head” and give simply the title (or perhaps the shortened version). Insert a page number (Insert > Page Number > Plain no. 3), and then make sure your header is in the font that is rightTimes New Roman, size 12). Each subsequent page should will have the correct header.

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

Essay Start Page

Your essay really begins from the third page:

Finally, don’t forget to cite your sources:

To get more details, please visit our page on formatting the reference list.

APA papers in many cases are split into sections. If you’d like to organize your material with headings, it is possible to choose from a number of various headers. Start by using level that is first and use the others for sub-headers:

First Level Header (Bold, Centered, as well as in Title Case)

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

Third level header (indented, bold, and lowercase), ending with an interval.

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

Fifth level header (same as the level that is fourth yet not in bold).

You don’t have to use some complex numbering system (e.g., 3.2.1b) to organize your ideas as you can see. The formatting associated with header does the secret.

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