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APA Style Guide - Recommended for Psychology Students: Formatting your paper

Resources for using APA style, 6th ed., in research papers. Created in cooperation with Psychology Faculty.

1. Setting up Microsoft Word

Before you begin typing in Word, you need to make sure that you have the correct settings equipped on your document.

  1. Set the margins of your paper to 1" on all sides.
  2. Use 12pt Times New Roman for your font. 
  3. Make sure to use double-spacing for the entire document.
  4. Align your text to the left.

In addition, the following settings need to be in place in the Paragraph options in Word:

Under the "Indents and Spacing" tab:

  1. Indentation - Special: none by blank or 0"
  2. Spacing - Before: 0 pt; After: 0 pt (not auto)
  3. Spacing - Line Spacing: Double

Under the "Line and Page Breaks" tab:

  1. Be sure that the "Widow/Orphan control" box is checked

Below are some files that show these changes visually:

2. Creating a title page

    Every document that uses APA style should have a separate title page.  Here are some steps for creating one:

    1. Center your title horizontally, and position it about one-third of the way down the title page.
    2. Your title should be around 10-12 words, in uppercase and lowercase letters; try to use words that define the subject at hand, and avoid generic words such as "method" or "study."
    3. Under the title, on separate lines, be sure to type your full name and the name of your institution (Asbury University)

      3. Creating a running head

      Every document that uses APA style needs to have a running head throughout the document.  The elements of a running head are:

      1. Flush to the left margin, the words "Running head" followed by a colon.  Note: only include the phrase "Running head" on the first page; every subsequent page will just have the key words from your title.
      2. Key words from your title, not to exceed 50 total characters, IN ALL CAPS.
      3. Flush to the right margin, page numbers throughout the document, including on the title page and the references list.
      4. The margin for the running head should be 0.5" from the top.

      For an example of how to set this up, please click on the documents below.

      Grammar Overview