APA Format Guide

Generally, APA format implies standard sheets of paper (8.5” x 11”), with one-inch margins from every side. 6th edition of the APA manual recommends the Times New Roman, 12 pt font with double spaces.

A distinctive feature of the APA style is a so-called “running head” – a header on every page of a paper, written at the top. This header includes a page number written on the right, and a title on the left side. This title is not the entire title of the paper, but a shortened version. According to APA standards, it should be no longer than 50 characters with spaces. Running head is always capitalized.

Any paper should consist of four main sections: title, abstract, body, and references. The title is a separate page. The title page includes the author’s name, a page header, and a title of the paper. Note that the 6th edition of the APA manual has certain errors and incorrect examples, so we suggest you to visit the APA website, and check out the list of errors.


The title must be written in the upper half of the title page. Experts of APA recommend writing a short title, no more than 12 words long, with no abbreviations or unnecessary words. You can use both capitalized and lowercase letters, and visually a proper title will look like one or two lines. Don’t forget about double-spacing.

After the title, you have to indicate your first name, middle name (or initials), and the last name. You don’t need to use degrees or titles, such as PhD, or Dr. After this, you have to write the institutional affiliation.


The next page of the paper begins with the running head, and the next line is a title of the section: “Abstract”. This word must be written on the center of the page, with no underlining, capitalizing, bold, or italic formatting.

Finally, you have to write a brief summary of the most important parts of your paper. You have to introduce the topic, questions that you’re going to answer, research methods, analysis of data, and conclusions. Abstract is a good place to write how your paper can be used, and why it’s important. Generally, your abstract must be a single paragraph, with double spaces, up to 250 words long.

The last part of this page is keywords list, and it’s not necessary, but you can include keywords to help others find your work in a database.


Every style has its particular citation format, and APA is no exception. We decided to write a couple templates, so you could use them, citing websites and books:

      Author’s Name (date of the last edition).

Title of the source.

      Retrieved from http://web.address

First Author’s Name, Second Author’s Name, Third Author’s Name, & Fourth Author’s Name (year, date). Title of the source. Retrieved from http://web.address


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