Apa formatting

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APA Formatting


  • 1” margins
  • Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced
  • Running head in all caps at top left of every page
  • Page number at top right of every page

Essential Parts

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Main Body
  • References

Title Page

  • Running head
    • Running head: TITLE OR SHORTENED TITLE
    • The words “Running head:” only appear on the title page. Subsequent pages will only include the title
  • Page number
  • Centered on top half of the page:
    • Title of Paper
    • Name
    • Institution Name


  • Running head and page number in header
  • “Abstract” centered on first line
  • First line of paragraph will not be indented
  • 150-250 words, double-spaced
  • Brief, comprehensive summary of the paper
  • Not an introduction to the paper
  • Will not contain citations


  • Used to separate sections of the paper and establish information hierarchy
  • Use in order, beginning with Level 1
  • Level 1
    • Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
  • Level 2
    • Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading


  • Level 3
    • Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period.
  • Level 4
    • Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.
  • Level 5
    • Indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.

In-Text Citations

  • Used whenever directly quoting or paraphrasing from another author’s work
  • When paraphrasing, use author, date format:
    • (Author last name, year)
  • A citation for a direct quote should also include a page number:
    • (Author, year, p. #)
  • If no author is given, used a shortened version of the title in the citation
  • If the publication date is unknown, use “n.d.” in its place

Block Quotes

  • Block quotes are 40 words or more.
  • The entire quote is indented.

In-Text Citations

  • For works with two authors, list both and use an ampersand: (Smith & Jones, 2010)
  • For works with 3 or more authors, list all in the first citation: (Smith, Jones, & Brown, 2010), in subsequent citations, list the first author and “et al.”: (Smith et al., 2010)
  • Classical works such as the Bible are only cited in-text. Include the reference and version used: (1 Cor. 13:1, Revised Standard Version)


  • Include running head and page number
  • Center “References” at the top of the page
  • Every line after the first line of a reference entry should be indented one-half inch from the margin
  • References are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name
  • Authors are listed last name first, followed by first and middle initials


  • All titles except journal titles have only the first word capitalized
    • Always capitalize proper nouns
    • Capitalize the first word after a colon
  • Article titles do not use quotation marks, underlines, or italics
  • Book titles should be italicized

Reference List

  • Book
  • Author, A. A. (Publication Year). Title of work: Subtitle. Location: Publisher.
    • Separate multiple authors with commas
      • Up to 7 authors
      • For more than 7, follow with ellipsis (…), skip to last author, list final author
    • Use an ampersand (&) instead of the word “and”
  • Article in a periodical
  • Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume # (issue #), page #s.

Reference List, cont’d

  • Article from an online periodical (with DOI)
    • The digital object identifier (DOI) is a reference number assigned to online periodical content
    • Searchable in online databases (like an ISBN)
  • Author, A. A. (Date). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume # (issue #). pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxx

Reference List, cont’d

  • Article from an online periodical (without DOI)
  • Author, A. A. (Date). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume # (issue #). pp-pp. Retrieved from http://www.fullurl.com
  • A web site
  • Author, A. A. (Date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://www.fullurl.com

Formatting Headers

  • Add your page numbers

Formatting Headers

  • Click “Different First Page”

Formatting Headers

  • Type your running head
  • Tab twice and add your page number 1

Formatting Headers

  • On page 2, click on the left until your cursor appears there
  • Add your title

The Writing Centers

  • Undergraduate Writing Center
    • undergradwriting@liberty.edu
  • Graduate Writing Center
    • graduatewriting@liberty.edu
  • Online Writing Center
    • onlinewriting@liberty.edu

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