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APA Style Guide: Paper Format/Guidelines

APA style according to the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.


Your paper should include four major sections.  These sections include:

Title page - The text of the title page should start in the upper half of the page, with all the information centered.  The title should be centered and bolded. It should include at least the title of your paper, your name and institution.  A professional paper also includes an author note. For student papers, your instructor may want you to provide the course/section number, his or her name and due date on the title page.  The title page should be numbered the first page in the top right.  Professional papers must include a running head should appear in the upper left-hand corner of your paper.  The running head should be typed in UPPERCASE letters and be no more than 50 characters long. While these aren't always required for student papers, your professor may require them, so check for those details.

Abstract - The abstract should appear as the second page of your paper.  An abstract is a brief but thorough description of your problem, findings and summaries.  If you performed an experiment, your methodology should be described.  The abstract should report findings but should not include discussion or interpretation.  An abstract should typically be no more than 250 words.

Main body - The components of your paper will depend on the particular assignment.  The main body of your paper could describe the problem you are researching, an investigation of previous findings, methodology, results, discussion of results and/or conclusion.  Continue to include the running head and number your pages.

References - The running head and page numbers should continue onto your reference page.  Center and bold the word "References" and continue to use double spacing throughout this page.  Consult the other tabs in this guide for help formatting your sources.


The following pdfs were produced by The OWL at Purdue.  They are sample APA papers for a student paper and a professional paper that clearly demonstrate paper sections, formatting and guidelines.

  OWL Sample APA Paper

Sample Paper

sample title page in the APA style with the title centered and bolded, and the remaining info centered.

example of an APA styled reference page.