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APA Citation & Formatting: APA Paper Format

Useful information to help you create a well-formatted document in APA 7th edition style

APA Formatting Guidelines

Formatting guidelines help the reader focus on content rather than structure and reflect on the professionalism of the author.
APA formatting guidelines apply to content structure, style techniques, references, and preparation of the manuscript.

More information: APA Style: Paper Format

Document Format

  • running head no longer needed for student papers unless requested by the professor
  • header for student paper contains page number flush with top right margin

  • accessible and consistent throughout the paper
  • sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode
  • serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern

  • paper double-spaced throughout, no extra line spacing after headers or between paragraphs
  • exception: blank line between title paper and byline on title page
  • one-inch margins on all sides of the page

  • align text to left margin and leave the right margin uneven
  • indent first line only of each paragraph one-half inch from left margin

Order of Pages

Title Page

Center the following information in the middle of your first page:

  • Title of the paper in bold font, 3 double-space lines from the top
  • One blank line space
  • Your name (names of all authors if more than one)
  • Author affiliation (name of your college)
  • Course number and name
  • Instructor's name (and title if they require it)
  • Assignment due date


Not generally required for student papers, but if required by your instructor, start on a separate page:

  • Center and bold the title Abstract
  • Write a paragraph (not indented) summarizing your paper

Main Body
  • Start on a new page and center the title at the top in bold font
  • Indent each new paragraph one-half inch

  • Start on a new page and center the heading References in bold font
  • Each entry in the list should have a hanging indent of one-half inch
  • Create an entry for every work you cited in your paper
  • Arrange the list alphabetically by author's last name, corporate author name, or title of the work when no author is identified

APA Student Paper: Title Page


APA Paper: Main Body


APA Paper: Reference List


The Writing Lab & the OWL at Purdue, & Purdue University. (2021). APA sample paper. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from
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