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APA Guide: Basic Guidelines

What is APA?

APA Style®  refers to a set of rules and guidelines found in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  The rules determine how you cite references, punctuation, title page format, and so on.  You may be required to use APA Style when completing assignments.

Your LRC has a copy of the APA's official citation guide.

General APA Guidelines

An APA paper must have these components

  • Typed, double-spaced on letter-sized paper (8.5" x 11")
  • 1" margins on all sides
  • Use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Include a running head at the top of every page. To create a running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "THE TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.  See Formatting Your Paper for more information.

You can access a template at

MS Word provides an APA template How to access template in Word 2010

Please note: MS Word has multiple citation formats under its References tab. Make sure to select APA sixth edition when generating citations or Bibliographies/Reference sections/Works Cited pages.

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