Skip to Main Content

APA Style & Citation 7th edition

How to format your paper and cite your sources using 7th ed. APA style.

Editable APA Template

General APA Rules

Rules for All APA Papers:

  • Margins: 1"
  • Recommended font: 12-point Times New Roman, or 11-point Calibri, Arial or Georgia; or 10-point Lucida sans Unicode or Computer Modern
  • Line Spacing: Double
    • Make sure that there is no extra space after each paragraph (Microsoft Word defaults to including one. Fix this by: highlighting your entire paper, clicking the Paragraph Settings button [bottom-right corner of Paragraph section at top of the page/screen], then selecting "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style" or making the Spacing After = 0.

paragraph line spacing

  • Page numbers on all pages at the top right. Click in the header to insert the page numbers, top of page, plain number 3. The font should match the rest of your paper.
    This is what it looks like inserting page number in Word online vs the desktop version.
    Word Online
    insert page numbers Word online
    Desktop version of Word
    insert page number Word desktop


Sections of an APA Paper

  • Title Page - check with your instructor if they are requiring a title page
  • Text of your paper
  • References
  • Appendices - check with your instructor to see if they want you to include appendices

Major Sections of Your Paper

Title Page

If a title page is required for your assignment, follow these steps:

  1. Place your cursor at the top of the first page Hit Enter on the keyboard 4 times
  2. Type your title's paper using these rules:
    1. Capitalize the first letter of all important words (but not words like a, the, of, etc.)
    2. Title may be up to 2 lines (Main Title on First Line: Subtitle on Second)
    3. Title should be no more than 12 words
    4. Title should contain no abbreviations (spell out United States of America instead of using U.S.A.)
    5. Title should contain no unnecessary words
    6. Title font should be bold, and centered on page
  3. Press ENTER twice, then type your full name (with middle initial if you want to include it)
  4. Press ENTER, then type Central Penn College
  5. Press ENTER, then type the course name and number this assignment is for
  6. Press ENTER, type the Instructor's name - check with them for their preferred form
  7. Press ENTER, type the due date in month, date, year format

First Page of Your Essay

1. Type the title of your paper as it appears on the title page - bold font, title case, and centered

2. On the first line of your paragraph, click the left align button to move your cursor back to the left margin

3. Begin writing your paper. Once you have a few lines done, highlight the lines you've written (do NOT include the title), then click the Paragraph Formatting button

4. Under Indentation: Special, choose First Line. The default indentation is 0.5", which is correct

References Page

Your References should begin at the top of a new page immediately after your essay has ended.

1. Type in bold font and center the title: References

2. Press enter, then select the left align button to move your cursor to the left margin

3. Write (or paste) all of your citations. Each citation should begin on a new line. Double line spacing, like the rest of your paper. Do not add any extra spaces between citations.

4. Highlight all of your citations, then click the Sort button in the Paragraph section of the menu. The defaults are correct to sort alphabetically. Click OK. [The sort option is not available in Word online, open your document in the desktop app or manually copy and paste your citations in alphabetical order.]

5. Highlight all of your citations, then select Paragraph options. Under Indentation: Special, select Hanging. The default setting is 0.5", which is correct. Click OK.