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APA Guidelines


General Format 

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing). 

Level Headings 

There are five distinct level headings for research papers. 

1.                               Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading 

2. Flush left, Boldface, Upper and Lowercase Heading 

3.     Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. 

4.     Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. 

5.     Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading with a period. 

Refer to Table 3.1. p. 62. 
Publican manual of the American Psychological Association. (2016). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Preparing Research Paper for Submission

Typeface: Times New Roman  

Font size: 12 point 

Line Spacing: Double-space

Margins: 1 inch at the top, bottom, left, and right of the page

Line length and alignment: Do not adjust lines

Paragraphs and indentations: Every first line of a paragraph and first line in footnotes, if footnotes are included should be a five to seven space or 1/2 inch (tab). Remaining the lines should be uninformed to the left-hand margin.
   - Exceptions to indentation rule:

  • abstract
  • block quotations
  • titles and headings
  • table titles and notes
  • figure captions 

Journal Article Reporting Standards 

Order of Research Document 

Title and Title Page

  • Title 
  • Running head (an abbreviation of the title, no more than 50 characters including letters, punctuation, and spaces)
  • Author/Authors 
  • Institution affiliation 
  • Page number 

Table of Contents (separate page numbered 2)

Abstract (separate page numbered 3) 

  • A single paragraph 120 to 250 words 
  • No indentation 
  • Double spaced 
  • Keywords (information that you want your audience to know, ex. type of research method you used, where the research was conducted, or any information you that will be referenced frequently) 

Introduction (separate page numbered 3)

Analysis/ Discussion 
References (separate page) 

If included: 

  • Tables (Each on a separate page with captions) 
  • Figures (separate page)
  • Appendices (separate page for each)  

**Note, not all professors require all of the pieces of a research paper that is listed here. Requirements set forth by your professor will always supersede instructions provided in these general guidelines.