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General Formatting Rules for an APA Style Paper
  • Spacing
    Double space all portions of the paper. This means you should leave a full line between each line of text in the paper.

  • Typeface
    Use an easily readable “serif” font (such as Palatino, Courier, or Times New Roman) in 12 point size.

  • Section Headings
    For short articles and most student papers, only one or two levels of section headings are needed:

    Heading Level 1: Centered, Bold, Headline Style Capitalization

    Heading Level 2: Flush Left, Bold, Headline Style Capitalization

    Heading Level 2: Indented, Bold, Sentence Style Capitalization

  • Margins
    The margins for your paper should be uniform on all sides, set to at least 1" or 2.54 cm on all sides: top, bottom, left and right. Line length for each typed line should be no more than 6.5" (16.51 cm), and the maximum number of lines of text per page is 27.

  • Short Quotations (less than 40 words)
    A quotation of less than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks and should be incorporated into the sentence.

  • Long Quotations (more than 40 words)
    Longer quotations should be set apart from the surrounding text, without quotation marks, in block format, indented five spaces from the left margin, and double spaced. If the quotation is more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the second paragraph about 1/2 inch (5 spaces).

  • Text Alignment
    Set the text alignment to “Left,” so that the right edge of the text on the page is uneven.

  • Paragraph indentation
    Set the paragraph indentation to 5 spaces, or about 1/2 inch.

  • Punctuation
    Space once after periods, question marks, commas, colons, and semicolons. Do not space once after internal periods in abbreviations.


APA Style General Formatting Rules for a Research Paper

APA Style Formatting Rules


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