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APA Style 6th Edition: Formatting

Quick reference guide for APA Style rules

APA Style Formatting


For examples of how to format the entire manuscript, see pages 41-59 of the manual.

Double-space your paper, including the reference list.  Leave margins of at least one inch (1”) at the top, bottom and sides of the paper.  (APA Manual, p. 41) Hint: Microsoft Windows automatically places the margins at 1" at the top, bottom and sides of the paper.

Indent the first line of every paragraph five to seven spaces or ½ inch. (APA Manual, p. 229)

Title page

The title page should include the running head for publication, title, byline, and institutional affiliation. (APA Manual, p. 23-25)





Body of Paper



Levels of headings - see pp. 62-63 of the APA manual


Formatting tables –   see pp. 127-167 of the APA manual.



Reference Page

Arrange reference list entries in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author.  Use only the initial(s) of the author’s name, with a space and a period between the initials (APA Manual, p.181).

If no author is listed, then move the title to the author position, before the date of publication.  (APA Manual, p. 183) 

If a title has more than eight authors, include the first six author’s names, then insert three ellipses, and add the last author's name. (APA Manual, p. 184,198).


            Glueckrafu, R.L.; Whitton, J., Baxter, J. , Kain, J., Vogelgesang, S., Hudson, M.,...Botros, N. (2009).

For the reference page, capitalize only the first letter of the first word for book or article titles.  Capitalize proper nouns as well as the first word following a colon in a subtitle.  (APA Manual, p. 101-104)


Lyons, J.D. (2006).  Winston Churchill and the rhetorical challenges of democratic statesmanship.  Perspectives on

        Political Science, 34(1), 4-13.  doi: 10.1211/151421528198005


Formatting Reference Page


Start the reference list on a new page.  The Reference page should include the title of the paper and the word References should be in upper and lower case letters, centered on the page.

The first line of the citation should begin at the left margin. If a citation is longer than one line, double space between the lines, with the second line being indented 1/2" or 5 spaces from the left margin. 

Video: Formatting Microsoft Word for APA Style